2005 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L)

SKU #1044116 100 points James Suckling

 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.  (2/2011)

99 points Wine Enthusiast

 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. *Cellar Selection* (RV)  (6/2008)

98 points 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.  (10/2008)

98 points Wine Spectator

 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. (JS)  (3/2008)

97 points 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. (ST)  (6/2008)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Beautiful, elegant red, blue and black fruits (89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot) as well as some graphite and spice notes jump from the glass of the 2005 Lafite Rothschild. Medium-bodied, with superb purity and texture, this is not a blockbuster by any means, but a meticulously made, lovely-textured Pauillac. Long and pure … (RP)  (6/2015)

94 points Decanter

 You can feel the edges of an older Cabernet beginning to creep in as cigar box and gentle tobacco notes, but there is still dense but savoury fruit on display, with real elegance and finesse to the tannins. Showing great harmony, this is where the beauty of Lafite is on display - you can find many wonderful 2009 and 2010s, but not so many wonderful '99s. All four grapes - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc - are in the blend here, perhaps something that happens only once every ten years or so. This vintage demonstrates how Lafite doesn't need concentration to still be something incredible. A mixed year weather-wise with a good spring followed by a rainy summer until mid-August when the sun returned. There was an excellent Indian summer, then a few drops of rain again during harvest, which sped things up. These challenges, says Baron Eric, meant that they forgot about it for a good 15 years, as the wine was extremely closed, but around three years ago it started to open back up. This is ready to be enjoyed. (JA)  (5/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 Very dark with lots of minerals. Very dry and racy and not sweet!! Pure and fresh with great zest. (18/20 points)  (6/2009)

K&L Notes

96 points, Neal Martin in Wine Advocate: "Having tasted the 2005 Château Lafite-Rothschild several times both blind and non-blind, it comes across as a First Growth politely requesting more time to "settle". Here, from an ex-château bottle tasted in Bordeaux, it delivers that graphite, pencil-box bouquet that unfurls gradually in the glass, biding its time, graceful but not intense. Parallel to some of its fellow 2005s, it is developing a little more spice, namely thyme and sage, than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced, to wit, a sophisticated Pauillac that priorities elegance and poise over intensity of fruit—in keeping with Lafite Rothschild's style. You come away with the sense that it will take its time and decline, giving away a great deal in its primacy, even if it is still more approachable than the 2005 Latour for example." (07/2016)


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