Grand Cru Selection
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Velvet black-red, really lovely nose of cassis and violets, terrifi c depth of fruit, both racy and opulent, with very firm tannins that make it a true vin de garde. Truly classic, very fine indeed.
Winter was colder and wetter than the previous vintages. This was followed by a rather warm spring and July that led to early veraison and good ripening. August was then colder but September was sunny, except for the stormy episode mid-September that sped up the harvest more rapidly than expected but in good conditions. Very dark and beautiful colour. Discreet nose with primary notes that develop in ampleness and density. Quite powerful on the palate with a very good structure and nice tannic finish with integrated woody tones.
Blend: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Taken as a whole, in the 2006 Lafite nose, I did not find the vividness perceived in Latour and Mouton Rothschild. And this, even if the wine appears fruity. In the mouth, the wine offers body, a lovely touch, fine tannins, as well as good length with an aromatic impression, which seemed to me to be more reserved than at the same time in 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002. Aging will tell what follows.
Tasted at the chateau. A deep, almost opaque garnet core. The nose is extremely backward and stubbornly refuses to reveal its personality until five minutes of swirling. Then some ripe, pure blackberry and a touch of graphite and liquorish emerges. The palate is impenetrable at first, a mass of ripe Cabernet Sauvignon barring entry, but you can discern a bewitching symmetry and delineation. Not a flamboyant Lafite, one that I think will take 3 or 4-years to blossom. But it will. Tasted April 2007.
One of the fabulous surprises, although I had suggested last year that it could jump in quality, of my tastings, the 2006 Lafite Rothschild is a great, great wine made from a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. When I tasted it from barrel, it reminded me of their successful 1988, but it is dramatically superior to that vintage. Frankly, it may turn out to be as good as the 2005, which in all of Bordeaux is a far greater vintage than 2006. Lafite’s severe selection process (42% made it into the grand vin) resulted in a full-bodied wine boasting an extraordinary perfume of charcoal, truffles, lead pencil shavings, and sensationally sweet, ripe black currant and cedar notes. A wine of extraordinary intensity, texture, and depth with silky tannins as well as awesome concentration, this has turned out to be a remarkable Lafite Rothschild that should be drinkable much earlier than the 2005, but age for three decades.
1st classified growth in 1855. The quality of Château Lafite Rothschild needs no introduction. As early as 1815, Abraham Lawton had already designated it as leader: "I ranked it as being the most elegant and delicate, with the finest body of the three (leading wines)" he qualified in 1855. As to Château Lafite's attributes found in all vintages, it was an enlightened amateur that summed it up best by saying "...whatever the case, all the Château Lafite wines have an almond and violet aroma!" In the classification of 1855, Lafite was classified as the first among the first. The domain was bought by Baron James de Rotschild, the richest man in France, in 1868. His cousin Nathaniel had bought Mouton in 1853. The inheritors of Baron James de Rothschild are still owners of Lafite.
Owner: Domaines Barons de Rothschild
Manager: Charles Chevallier
Blend of the 2006 vintage: 2% Cabernet Franc, 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot
Ageing: 100% in new barrels during 18 month/s
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Soil: deep fine gravel mixed with aeolien sand on a bedrock of tertiary limestone
Area: 103 hectares
Average age of the vines: 40 years
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