2005 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac

SKU #1073354 100 points Decanter

 This stunning wine is still extremely young, with an amazingly expressive nose with tea leaf hints. The aromatics keep building and building in the glass, and the elegance and persistency shine through. This was a drought year, unusual because it was almost perfect from beginning to end with not a drop of rain from May to October. Temperatures were not hot like 2003, of course, so the ripening was slow and complete, with relatively small yields and relatively high alcohol. This is full of energy and the flavours just keep on going, while those tannis have really started to embrace the fruit and showcase their elegance. It's concentrated and luscious yet focussed and beautifully balanced - the perfect example of how they don't need excess to deliver something truly extraordinary in Bordeaux. (JA)  (5/2018)

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. Best after 2013. (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. I'd forget about this one for about 15 years. (ST)  (5/2008)

96 points Robert Parker's 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. Therefore, I would be inclined to set this aside for several more years. (NM)  (7/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 This was the star of the tasting for pure, inherent quality -- a truly glorious wine that will presumably continue to impress those lucky enough to taste it for many decades to come. Very dark, shaded crimson. The most gorgeous panoply of aromas on the nose -- not yet knit but just starting to integrate. Exceptionally promising. Absolutely marvellous wine that was extremely difficult to spit. Fresh but ripe with great life and energy. The density of fruit covered the considerable charge of tannin. Such verve! So healthy. Some pure stoniness on the mid palate. 19.5/20 points. (JR)  (5/2018)


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By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/10/2015 | Send Email
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and .5% Petit Verdot. Concentrated nose of cassis, tobacco, and mineral aromas explode from the glass. Creamy texture. Layers of sweet, ripe fruit. Seductive upfront and broad on the mid-palate. Regal wine.

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