1982 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac (high shoulder, slightly oxidixed capsule, torn label)

SKU #1009805 98 points Decanter

 As with the last time I drank this wine two years ago, it is still full of life and energy, with that classic Lafite quality of effortless drinkability. Utterly moreish, it has an amazing cinnamon-edged spice, rich and slightly exotic with brick-red colouring. To recap what we all know to have been a great season, 1982 saw a dry and mild spring, allowing an excellent flowering followed by a dry and hot summer with regular small showers and fresher nights in August. It was an easy harvest that saw an early and large crop, and in the vat rooms they say, it smelt of hot fruit jam. Baron Eric's memories say it all: 'The last day of harvest was a Friday and we knew right away how good the fruit in the tanks was. Everyone was in a great mood, the whole harvest felt like fun.' (JA)  (5/2018)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is a denser version of the 1990 that stylistically reminds me of what the young 1959 probably tasted like. Still backward with a deep ruby/plum color revealing only a touch of lightening at the edge, the wine offers up an extraordinary nose of caramelized herbs, smoke, cedar, pen ink, black currants, and earth. The gorgeous aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, plump, rich, fleshy wine with low acidity. With 6-8 hours decanting in a closed decanter, it will offer beautiful drinking, but it needs another 5-8 years to reach full maturity. It is capable of lasting 50-60 years. (RP) 97+  (6/2009)

97 points Vinous

 The 1982 Lafite-Rothschild can be a variable performer. There was a period when it was dwarfed by Latour. However, two recent bottles demonstrate a wine that perhaps has just taken 30+ years to reach its zenith. The bouquet is very intense with blackberry, cedar, graphite and hints of morels, gathering momentum in the glass, perhaps with just a touch more VA than its peers. The palate is medium-bodied and very fresh, lively and tensile with a fine thread of acidity. There is more cohesion and finesse than bottles encountered a decade ago, and a delicate but firm structure that frames the pure blackberry and cedar notes on the sustained finish. Wonderful. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong and then blind at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the property. (NM)  (7/2018)

96 points James Suckling

 I am impressed with the loads of ripe fruit with almost dried raspberries and blackberries and a minty undertone on the nose. It's full bodied, with bay leaf, berries that turn to mineral undertones. It's full-bodied, with round tannins and a lingering finish of chocolate, cedar and other woods. I would leave it another three to four years to soften and open just a tiny bit; otherwise, decant three hours in advance.  (11/2010)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full, deep red. Slightly high-toned, highly nuanced nose of currant, roasted meat, cedar, marzipan, smoke and tobacco. Supple on entry, then firmed by sound acids. Still quite unevolved but seems distinctly less deep than the bottle of '59 I tasted alongside it. A rather muscular style of Lafite, finishing with big, tongue-dusting tannins. Drink 2005 through 2030. 93(+?). My second bottle showed a darker red-ruby color; higher-pitched aromas of redcurrant, cedar, orange peel and coconut; a bright, very tight palate impression, with strong acidity contributing to the impression of steely spine; and a very subtle and very long, firmly tannic finish. This bottle seemed even less evolved than the first sample. 95+  (8/2002)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Dark ruby red. Mineral, berry and mint. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. A silky, seductive wine. (JS)  (6/2001)

Jancis Robinson

 Magnum. Truly ethereal. Very Lafite. Far from heavy; very racy. Round, beguiling fruit. Long . But after a while it fell away in the glass with the acidity dominating that wonderful but slightly frail fruit. I'd open not keep this if I owned any. 18/20 points. (JR)  (11/2013)

K&L Notes

96 points Antonio Galloni in Vinous: "The 1982 Château Lafite-Rothschild, from magnum, is a bit rough around the edges, but still striking in its beauty. Sometimes small imperfections add complexity in a wine. That is certainly the case with the 1982 Lafite." (3/2014)


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Additional Information:

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.
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.