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Red Bordeaux - 2002 - Lafite Rothschild

Duty Paid

Photo of the magnum in the case with bands cut

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Tasting Notes

A brilliant offering and a candidate for wine of the vintage, this is classic Lafite that reminded me somewhat of the 1976, although the vintage conditions were completely different. This is a medium-weight, quintessentially elegant style of Lafite with notes of lead pencil shavings/graphite along with black currants, plums, and crushed rocks/mineral. Wonderfully pure, dense, with a deep ruby/purple color and loads of fruit, definition, and a long finish, this is a brilliant, elegant Lafite Rothschild that builds incrementally in the mouth and has more power and density than it initially seems. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025.

Score: 94 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005

As I have indicated in the past, under the administration of Charles Chevalier, Lafite-Rothschild has produced a tremendous succession of historic, possibly monumental wines since 1995. The 2002 will only add to Chevalier’s illustrious resume. Forty-seven percent of the crop made it into the grand vin, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.5% Merlot, and 3.5% Cabernet Franc. It smells and tastes like liqueur of lead pencil intermixed with cassis and cherry jam. Opaque purple to the rim, relatively light on its feet, but super-concentrated and intense, it is reminiscent of a lighter-weight 1996, a wine that merited a perfect score. More forward than the 1996, the 2002 is extraordinarily concentrated, riveting juice that has impeccable harmony. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2038

Score: 94/96 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (149), October 2003