Robert Parker 100
The 2018 Lafite Rothschild is blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot and has 13.3% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it needs a fair bit of swirling to unlock intoxicating scents of blackcurrant cordial, baked plums and black cherry compote with an undercurrent of dark chocolate, licorice, cast-iron pan, cedar chest and fertile loam, plus a waft of pencil lead. The delicately crafted, medium-bodied palate is dripping with class, featuring layers of mineral-laced black fruits and exquisitely ripe, singularly Lafite tannins, finishing with epic length and depth. This simply stunning, delicately crafted expression of 2018 with its singularly evocative imprint of Lafite will require a good 7-8 years in bottle, then should continue to inspire awe over the following 40+ years.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2068
The 2018 Lafite-Rothschild is a stunning wine. Silky and floral, the 2018 offers all the signatures of the Grand Vin, but amplified by the radiance of the year. In the glass, Lafite is rich and exotic, yet it also retains tremendous vibrancy. The interplay of Merlot picked early and Cabernet Sauvignon harvested late makes for wine of extraordinary dimension, complexity and class. Graphite, dark red fruit, spice and leather linger on the huge finish. Magnificent!
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2068
James Suckling 99
Wow. The aromas are so intense and refined at the same time, offering gorgeous blackcurrant, lead-pencil and orchid character. Such purity of fruit. Sleek and finely polished with a fine cut to the tannins that provide such grace and glamor. Yet, it s got the power and structure to age for decades. On and on. Try after 2029.
Jane Anson 98
Silky and powerful, carefully delineated cassis and blueberry fruits, along with slate and liqourice. The tannins are clearly in evidence but already showing a creaminess that cradles the fruit through the mid palate. I have said this before during En Primeur and in the first in bottle tastings, but this wine is remarkable for remaining so balanced and steady in a vintage that saw many neighbouring estates take on the markers of a hot vintage after a dry summer. Here at Lafite you get floral aromatics just starting to give hints of raspberry leaf and honeysuckle, along with the classic graphite smoke. Muscular with coiled power, undoubtedly it will close down over the next five years, and then need a good decade to open back up. 3.75pH. A yield of 40hl/ha. 40% of the production went into the grand vin. Tannin index 74IPT.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2050
Jeb Dunnuck 98
Checking in as a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot, the 2018 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is one of those magical Lafites that offers an already up-front, complex, nuanced style yet has the class and balance to evolve for 40-50 years. As always, this wine is never about sheer power, and the 2018 offers a full-bodied, incredibly elegant and weightless style that carries textbook blackcurrant fruits, lead pencil shavings, green tobacco, cedarwood, and camphor aromas and flavors. I compared this wine to a more elegant version of the 2016 from barrel and I think that comparison still holds. Incredibly up-front and charming, and already drinkable with sweet tannins, it will unquestionably pick up more complexity and nuance over the coming 4-6 years. It should hit maturity around age 10 and evolve for 75 years or more given its perfect balance. This is a beautiful, quintessential Lafite that exudes elegance and charm.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2102