Lafite Rothschild 2013 is very unique in its style, with a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon (normally closer to 80%) and only 2% Merlot. As a result it delivers powerful aromas of blackcurrant and cassis, but – as is the style of the 2013 vintage – it also offers red fruit and plums. The nose develops flavours of smoke, sandalwood, tar and spice, white pepper and cinnamon, combining a wonderful fragrance of violets with the tell-tale pencil shaving flavours and graphite. The Palate is medium bodied and has notes of shaved white chocolate and mocha. Lafite Rothschild 2013 received 92-93 points from James Suckling, 89-92 from James Molesworth and 91-93 from Neil Martin. We remember clearly a point in 2011 when it seemed Lafite Rothschild would be forever out of reach of all but the world’s richest collectors, yet the 2013 reflects a bottle price of £266.67 and a return to the quasi affordable. Lafite Rothschild 2013 will be met with popularity and gives the market something to work with. The 2013 also has the lowest Points Over Price score of any case of Lafite Rothschild in the market.
*The POP is a method devised by Liv-ex where it takes the critic score and subtracts 80 from the total. Scoring the wines out of 20 also increases the weighting of each point. The new score is then divided by the price of a nine litre case giving the POP score, the implication being that the lower the score the better the relative value.
Neil Martin 91-93 points
It has an elegant bouquet with a fine violet scent that became more accentuated with time. There is plenty of dark cherry and blackcurrant fruit, a touch of pencil shavings that becomes more pronounced with aeration. The palate is a little austere because of the dominance of the Cabernet Sauvignon, although that 2% Merlot does take the edge off the finish, rounding out any edges. The aftertaste has that attractive saline tincture, but here a little spicier and longer than its peers. This is a traditional Pauillac; a success for the vintage and a wine that I think will improve in bottle rather than in barrel. A steadfast Lafite.
James Suckling 92-93 points
This is exceptionally high in cabernet sauvignon at 98% with only 2% merlot. It shows aromas of black currants and flowers and cigar box. It’s full body, with fine tannins and a long finish. It’s subtle and polished.
James Molesworths 89–92 points
Still a bit clouded by oak today, this presents a slightly firm frame and a whiff of bread dough, but there’s persistence to the red currant, floral, iron and sanguine flavors, all carried by finely beaded acidity. Noticeably austere throughout. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Neal Martin 88-90 points
The Carruades de Lafite is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. It has quite a floral bouquet with touches of dried violet petals infusing the crisp blackberry fruit, laced with cedar and a touch of smoke. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple entry, starting with black fruit but gently moving to more red fruit towards the finish. There is not the usual persistency, but it has pleasing purity and approachability.