Lafite Rothschild 2018 tasting notes on futures and ratings “en primeur” by Ronald Rens, M.Sc., Wine Master, Bordeaux Expert
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2018 tasting notes on futures and ratings “en primeur” by Ronald Rens, M.Sc., Wine Master, Bordeaux Expert
“Lafite Rothschild 2018, definitely my Left Bank wine of the vintage”
The big smile on Eric Kohler’s face said it all when he welcomed to taste the Lafite Rothschild 2018. The talented technical director at Lafite Rothschild greeted me warmly and with confidence. The weather conditions at Lafite in 2018 were challenging at first. The summer began very late: on July 16. The weather conditions changed from “extremely challenging” to “unbelievable.” The vines were saved in the hot august by the reserves of water in the ground. Lafite created beautiful classical wines and Kohler’s secret was: “Not to be overwhelmed by the weather. The terroir combined with the weather and a lot of work gave the concentration, typical for the vintage. But we had to be precise to prevent over-ripeness. A gentle extraction was paramount. This vintage gave us a lot.”
Carruades de Lafite 2018 (18,5+ points)
[38% Merlot, 56,5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5,5% Cabernet Franc]
The Merlot at Lafite was outstanding this year. Kohler thought at first that he would be using up to 15% of Merlot in the blend of Lafite because of the outstanding quality. In the end Kohler and his team found that 8,5% Merlot brought a perfect balance and as a result all the rest of the Merlot was used in the Carruades. “This gave us a quality in the Carruades that we have never seen before at Lafite,” he added, almost apologetic. The parcels from which the Carruades are produced are rather heterogeneous. The new scientific approach where drones were used to determine which plots of the Carruades needed harvesting clearly paid off. For the Grand Vin this approach is not needed because of the next to perfect terroir of Lafite. An intense deep color with a light red-purple rim, reminding me of the 2010 or 2016. Discrete nose that takes a while to open up. Hints of clean and fresh red and black fruit. Tasting the wine I could only write: “This is Super!” All the work and effort paid off here. Superb and elegant tannins. Great freshness and an incredible length for “just” a second wine. A precision that is remarkable.
Lafite Rothschild 2018 (20 points, without a doubt)
[91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8,5% Merlot and 0,5% Petit Verdot]
Like I said before, 2018 is a vintage that that can easily turn into “Parker-style” wines. Kohler hit the brakes at some point and made sure to harvest at exactly the right moment to prevent jammy flabby wines with too much alcohol. And he did well because the wine is simply brilliant. The color is even more intense than the Carruades but not by far. A deep concentrated ruby color with a delicate purple rim. The nose is just stunning with an incredible concentration of perfectly ripe red and black fruit. Not a hint of jammyness. On the palate I found the elegance of a great Lafite intertwined with the power and concentration of the vintage. An exemplary freshness with beautiful ripe velvety tannins and a great structure and a creamy texture. A great wine with a outstanding ageing potential that will wow wine lovers for decades to come. I admit to swallowing this wine, it was simply this good. Bravo to Eric Kohler and his team! Definitely my Left Bank wine of the vintage.
See and taste all five First Growths with the Bordeaux Wine Experience
Each of our Bordeaux Wine Tours includes tastings of the iconic five First-Growths Château Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion and Margaux plus the legendary Yquem, along with château-accommodation and exclusive meals in venues not open to the public.
7 Keys that turn your Bordeaux Wine Tour into a Bordeaux Wine Experience
- All-inclusive small-group Bordeaux Wine Tours (6 days, 5 nights).
- Personalized visits and tastings at Bordeaux’s best wineries.
- The unique Bordeaux Wine Experience atmosphere.
- Taste over 60 wines including all 5 First Growths and Château d’Yquem!
- Expert (and humorous) guidance by Bordeaux-Insider:
Ronald Rens, M. Sc., Wine Master.
- Intimate gourmet meals and exclusive accommodation at a private Chateau!
- 100% satisfied and delighted guests: many coming back for 2, 3 or even 4 times!