2015 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1253132 100 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is a great vintage from Lafite. The profile is rich in feel, with a seriously firm tannic structure. Solid, complex and with great authority, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine, is impressively dense in dark-fruit tones. It will age for many years. Drink from 2027, although that would almost be too soon. *Cellar Selection* (RV)  (4/2018)

99 points James Suckling

 Lead and graphite are complemented by notes of blueberries and blackberries. Blackcurrants, too. Full-bodied and focused with very round and polished tannins. Elegance with power. Very classic nature for Lafite. Try in 2022.  (2/2018)

97 points Decanter

 The power in this vintage of Lafite is hidden, but it is there in spades and tiptoes up along the palate. Lovely brushed tannins are extremely well placed, discreetly holding the fruit. In many ways this is a truly classic Lafite because it is understated and lyrical. It's a wine that demands you know Lafite to see just how beautifully it will develop, says winemaker Eric Kohler. 40% of overall estate production. 100% new oak. (JA)  (11/2017)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The grand vin 2015 Lafite-Rothschild checks in as 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot that was brought up in 100% new oak. Director Eric Kohler (who replaced Charles Chevallier in 2015) told me the vintage suffered a touch of dilution but wasn’t a complicated year. The 2015 is an aristocratic, classy example from this estate that offers textbook lead pencil shavings, tobacco, smoked herbs, and graphite as well as a beautiful core of currant and cassis fruit. It’s the most refined and subtle of the first growths, has medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin, and undeniable class and charm. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.  (11/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The deep garnet-purple shaded 2015 Lafite Rothschild is blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot and was matured for 20 months in new oak barrels from Tonnellerie des Domaines (their own cooperage). It is still sporting a lot of cedar at this nascent stage with a vibrant core of black raspberries, red currants and crushed plums plus touches of cigar boxes, violets and underbrush with a waft of tilled loam. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled with wonderful freshness and depth, it is compellingly earthy/minerally in the mouth with a frame of seductively silky yet very firm tannins and culminating in a very long, racy and pure finish. Boasting spectacular finesse and packed with nuances, clearly, given some of the challenges here in 2015, this is a masterpiece of diligence in the vineyards, careful selection and very clever crafting—bravo! (LPB) 96+  (2/2018)

96 points Vinous

 Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2015 Lafite-Rothschild is endowed with serious volume and textural resonance. Super-ripe plum, smoke and spice notes emerge in the glass, but only with great reluctance. Although the aromatics aren't giving much at this point, the palate is much more expressive. The wine's sheer power and authoritative tone result in an unusually dramatic Lafite. The 2015 is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot that spent 20 months in oak, which is a bit more than the norm. 96+ points. (AG)  (2/2018)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Velvet- and silk-textured red currant, raspberry and black cherry compote notes glide through, supported by a perfectly embedded graphite spine, while enticing violet, black tea and alder accents add range through the finish. Very refined and sneakily long. Best from 2025 through 2045. (JM)  (3/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 Lustrous mid crimson. Lightly spicy nose and very smooth tannins in the Lafite style. Only just enough acidity. Blurry impression. Mild and charming - very restrained and Lafite. It builds on the end in an impressive manner. 18/20 points (JR)  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

95 points Neal Martin: "The 2015 Lafite Rothschild, which was bottled in May 2017, has a very refined bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, hints of cassis and violets, all beautifully defined. It is initially quite understated but blossoms in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly chalky tannin. The acidity here is perfectly pitched, lending tension and that sense of vibrancy that winemaker Eric Kohler talks about. It just seems to flow nicely along before fanning out toward the precise finish although I still believe that its proximity to Saint-Estèphe that suffered more pre-harvest rain possibly shaved off a little of what could have been. Nevertheless, this is a Lafite that seems to run like clockwork and it will surely give immense pleasure over the next 20 or 30 years. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2050." (02/2018)

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Price: $699.99

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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 Médoc 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.