1990 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac

SKU #950319 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Interestingly, a bottle of 1990 Lafite Rothschild I pulled from my cellar for a video blog on my web site was still buttoned down, tight, and even with extended decanting was not showing as much as I would have hoped. However, a bottle tasted, of all places, in Seoul, Korea in February, was only a few points short of perfection. That amazing performance motivated me to pull another bottle out of my cellar and follow it over the course of two days. Sure enough, by the second day the wine was roaring from the glass. The 1990 Lafite has turned out far better than my early assessment. While it still possesses some firmness, and performs like a late adolescent in terms of its evolution, it boasts gorgeous aromas of cedar, tobacco leaf, cassis, and lead pencil shavings. The explosive aromas are followed by a fleshy, full-bodied wine that should hit its peak in 5-8 years, and last for 25-30 more. (RP)  (6/2009)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated deep red. Shoe polish, minerals and cassis on the nose, with a hint of toasty oak. Intensely flavored, vibrant fruit shows great middle-palate fullness for a young Lafite. Very long, multidimensional finish of great subtlety. Has the acidity and tannic underpinning for long life. An outstanding, classic Lafite; claret for the millennium. Along with Latour, an early candidate for Medoc of the vintage. (ST)  (11/1993)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Very serious fruit, with juicy berry, tobacco and cedar character. Slightly more body than the 1989, but they are very close in character. (JS)  (2/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark ruby. Lively, fresh and transparent at first with the soaraway refined scent of a Lafite. Then it took on the typical concentrated rich and velvety character of a fine 1990. Long. Impressive. 18.5/20 points (JR)  (12/2012)

K&L Notes

Château Lafite-Rothschild is one of the five First Growth Bordeaux Châteaux, and one of 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 dates back to at least the 13th century and has had an amazing and prestigious history to look back upon.

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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 M├ędoc 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. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling 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.