Robert Parker 92
The 2019 Carruades de Lafite is rich and expansive, bursting with aromas of ripe berries, violets, spice box, cedar and cassis. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, it’s broad and generous, with a more exotic, extravagant profile than the grand vin but also levels of concentration and character that exceed what was the case a decade ago. In recent years, Lafite has actually ripped up parcels that routinely never made it into the grand vinâ€”and the grand vin now includes more and more Cabernet Sauvignon. Even if Carruades now contains less Merlot than was historically the case (27% in 2019), I suspect it’s benefiting from the inclusion of Merlot that would have formerly made it into the assemblage of Lafite itself.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045
The 2019 Carruades de Lafite is sexy, open knit and wonderfully inviting, with all of the seductiveness of the vintage on display. Ripe red cherry, red plum, rose petal, mint and spice are lifted by the savory intensity of the Cabernets, which at 73% are the highest ever for Carruades. Technical Director Eric Kohler describes 2019 as an easier vintage than 2018, a year that saw quite a bit of disease pressure and extremes of temperature. Kohler added that while 2019 was hot, it was consistently hot, and therefore the vines adapted to the conditions as opposed to being shocked by sudden changes. Yields were a very classic 36-40 hectoliters per hectare, depending on the property. Cuvaison was about three weeks, with gentle extractions. As always one of the signatures at Lafite is the use of a portion of press lots in the final blends.