1988 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac

SKU #950001 96 points Decanter

 This was a vintage that remained tight and closed for a long time. They are just starting to drink this at the chateau apparently, as Salin says it is their dinner wine right now. The salinity is coming through, giving a sappy grip through the mid palate, the effortless racy elegance of an older Cabernet Sauvignon with its truffles, smoked cedar, its grilled black fruits. Colour wise this is very much still intact, just a slight bricking at the edges. A lovely example of how you should never give up on wines from great estates – there will always be a moment when the terroir will out, as we saw on recent tastings of the 1975. The 1988 is certainly having one of those moments, and its long finessed finish should be savoured. 72% Cabernet Sauvignon. (JA)  (12/2016)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted 7 Times Since Bottling With Consistent Notes. Broodingly backward and in need of considerable bottle age, the 1988 is a classic expression of Lafite. This deeply-colored wine exhibits the tell-tale Lafite bouquet of cedar, subtle herbs, dried pit fruits, minerals, and cassis. Extremely concentrated, with brilliantly focused flavors and huge tannins, this backward, yet impressively endowed Lafite-Rothschild may well turn out to be the wine of the vintage! Anticipated maturity: 2000-2035. (RP)  (10/1994)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Beautiful and subtle on the nose, with mineral, berry, licorice and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a pretty balance of fruit and mint. Long and caressing. Real claret here. Everyone talks about 1989, but this is very close in quality. (JS, Web Only-2009)

Jancis Robinson

 Quite deep purple. Inky. Very Cabernet nose. Smooth and more than a hint of Lafite's trademark dancing elegance. Gentle start and quite a dry finish, but very, very respectable and true to the vintage. Quite long. 17.5/20 points (JR)  (10/2002)

K&L Notes

Château Lafite Rothschild is one of the five Bordeaux first growths and among the most famous and collected wines in the world. The vineyard covers 112 hectares and is well-drained and well-exposed, with soil made up of fine deep gravel, mixed with aeolian sand on a subsoil of tertiary limestone. The estate has a celebrated and prestigious history, dating back to at least the thirteenth century.

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Price: $699.99
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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.