2005 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac
An incredible nose, so subtle with red fruits, mint, minerals, and all sorts of flowers give way to Cohiba cigar tobacco. The palate has such freshness and density, with perfectly polished tannins. Slightly leathery, like a wonderful Hermes bag. What a wine, please leave this for another ten years.
*Cellar Selection* Initially dense, almost black enough to be attacked with a knife. But then it becomes apparent that this is a beautifully integrated, balanced wine, bringing together power, with the hallmark Lafite style and poise. In the end, you have a wine that promises an impressive aging potential along with delicious black currant fruits, acidity and a layer of striking tannins.
Wine & Spirits
Lafite is the most elegant of the firsts in 2005; it also may be the most romantic. The wine's heady scent of new oak rises in harmony with the succulent red fruit. Then the tannins come on with a gentle roar, layering the perception of flavors in subtle shadings. There's not a trace of the hyperintensity that so many young 2005s wear as if required for their longevity. The stones of Lafite grow something more numinous than that, a wine with the power to strike an emotional chord through taste. This will be one of the longest lived wines of 2005.
Delivers blackberry, dried porcini, tobacco and licorice aromas. Full-bodied, with layers of velvety tannins and loads of dark chocolate, cigar box, currant, berry and mineral. The finish is long, with a coffee, almost meaty, aftertaste. Very beautiful and balanced. Best after 2013.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Knockout nose combines black- and redcurrant, minerals, graphite, licorice and lavender. Wonderfully suave and seamless, but with great purity and precision of flavor and terrific inner-palate perfume and lift. This dances over every square millimeter of the palate. Almost painfully young today, with an impression of fresh acidity serving to intensify the wine's flavors. About as austere a wine as I tasted from this vintage in April and yet it's not hard. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and a whiplash of minerally perfume. I'd forget about this one for about 15 years.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
While the 2005 is another brilliantly classic Lafite Rothschild, for my taste, it comes in slightly behind their extraordinarily opulent 2003 as well as the dramatically powerful 2000. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot, the 2005 boasts a dark ruby/purple color in addition to that exceptional Lafite perfume of graphite, spring flowers, crushed rocks, and sweet black cherry and black currant fruit that exudes class and nobility. The wine is medium-bodied with extremely high levels of tannin in addition to sensational purity, length, and overall harmony. However, it is exceptionally backward, and even more tannic than either the 1995 or 1996. (RP)