Lafite Rothschild 2012

Pauillac, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

Tasted blind, the 2012 Lafite-Rothschild is a vintage I have not tasted for several years. It has a well-defined nose with slightly leafy black fruit, pencil shavings and cedar. It does not quite deliver the precision of the 2012 Latour tasted alongside, but it is distinctly "Lafite". The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, well balanced with tobacco-tinged black fruit. Elegant and composed, it is not a vintage that goes out to win applause, rather, quietly goes about its business. Give it a couple more years in bottle. Tasted blind in Bordeaux.

Score: 93

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2023-2045 26 January 2023

The 2012 Lafite-Rothschild has much more fruit concentration and presence on the nose, mulberry, leather, sage and a touch of tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, clean and fresh with impressive purity and body. This feels "grand", beautifully balanced though I find this attenuates a little towards the finish. Drink now, but it will keep another 15 to 20 years. Tasted twice at Bordeaux Index's Ten Year-On tasting and blind at the Southwold Ten-Year On tasting.

Score: 93

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2022-2045 27 September 2022

Savoury bilberry, cassis and liquorice, with softer edges of tobacco and brushed leather. This is a take-your-time, unfurl-slowly kind of a wine, with slate tannins and sappy sage herbs giving a drawn-out finish. Ripe without being exuberant, showcasing graceful, sinewy muscles that feel like a signature Lafite, if lighter in style than the greatest vintages. 38% of overall production, 100% new oak. Charles Chevallier technical director, Eric Boissenot consultant.

Score: 95

Jane Anson, Maturity: 2022-2045 30 March 2022

The 2012 Lafite-Rothschild opens with striking inner perfume. Long and beautifully persistent on the palate, the 2012 is ample and generous, but never heavy. Shades of dark red cherry and plum infusion shape the finish. The 2012 is not an epic Lafite, but it is expressive and delicious today.

Score: 93

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2018-2037 01 January 2016

The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, representing only 38% of their total production, is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance mostly Merlot. It is a very stylish, elegant, yet concentrated Lafite Rothschild with an opaque ruby/purple color, soft well-integrated tannins, nice integrated oak, acidity and alcohol. Lafites’s 2012 reveals good, opaque, ruby/purple color and plenty of lead pencil and blackcurrant fruit. The wine is medium-bodied and should hit its prime 2020-2035.

Score: 91

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2020-2035 01 April 2015

The classically styled 2012 exhibits attractive elegance, medium body and outstanding concentration, but not the complexity and depth or prodigious qualities of many other recent Lafites. It is a relatively soft, spicy effort displaying notes of crushed rocks, white chocolate, black currants and graphite. It should be drinkable in 5-8 years and last for two decades.

Score: 92 - 95

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2018-2038 26 April 2013

Superb structure for the vintage with blackcurrants, cedar, mushroom and sweet tobacco character. Full-bodied yet reserved and tight with an impressive density. Long finish. Better in 2020.

Score: 95

James Suckling, Maturity: 2020+ 15 February 2015

This is beautiful for the vintage. Full body and very tender with fine tannins and a pretty finish. Attractive currant, cedar, and sweet tobacco character. More delicate than the 2011.

Score: 93 - 94

James Suckling, 04 April 2013

This has a dark, smoky edge from the start, with smoldering tobacco and grilled savory notes lining the core of steeped plum, macerated black currant and lightly mulled cherry fruit. Shows a loamy, smoky edge to the finish, with the tobacco hint peeking out. Has admirable range, depth and grip, with just a twinge of the vintage’s austerity lurking. Best from 2018 through 2030.

Score: 94

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2018-2030 15 January 2015

(91% cabernet sauvignon, 8.5% merlot, 0.5% petit verdot; 38% of the total crop went into the grand vin; 40 hectoliters per hectare produced): Dark ruby-red. Aromatic nose combines blackberry, black cherry, minerals, violet, spices and cedar. Fresh and juicy in the mouth, offering clean flavors of dark berries, graphite and cedar but not the flesh of the great vintages. This very fragrant Lafite displays noteworthy energy but turns tougher on the back end, finishing firm and tight, with rather muscular tannins and a vegetal nuance.

Score: 90 - 93

Ian D'Agata, Inside Bordeaux 01 May 2013

91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot. Very dense and lustrous. Unusually (for Lafite) intense and creamy; it's almost as though Carruades has assumed Lafite character and Lafite is more Moutonish, almost flamboyant! Dry edge but very savoury and rather lords it over us .. see how ripe our Cabernets were! Perhaps the tannins are not the ripest but the fruit certainly is. Classic Pauillac if not exactly classic Lafite. Not quite as 'whole' as Haut-Brion perhaps. (18.5- Points)

Score: 18 - 19

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2022-2045 24 April 2013