Carruades de Lafite 2009

Pauillac, Second wine

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Tasting Notes

Of course, the wine to buy in order to get a look at the Lafite Rothschild style and personality is their second wine, Carruades de Lafite, which has become very fashionable in Asia, causing the prices to soar. A very strong effort, the 2009 Carruades de Lafite may be the finest Carruades since the 2003. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and tiny amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it reveals lots of sweet cassis intermixed with subtle smoke and forest floor, undeniable lusciousness and full-bodied hedonism. The wood component is pushed to the background, and the wine is extremely viscous, round and delicious. Additional complexity should continue to emerge over the next decade and this 2009 should keep for 20-30 years.

Score: 93

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2012-2042 01 March 2012

The best Carruades de Lafite I have ever tasted is the 2009. Composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, 55% of the crop was included in this second wine. It is an atypically powerful Carruades with slightly higher alcohol than usual as well as considerable structure. There are plenty of creme de cassis and crushed rock notes as well as a subtle wood component, and super intensity and lushness. It is an amazing effort! For technocrats, Lafite began its harvest on September 23 and finished on October 8. (Tasted once.)

Score: 92 - 94

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate 01 April 2010

Currants and blackberries on the nose. Spicy and intense undertones. Full body, with juicy fruit and a soft, very silky texture and a long, long finish. Polished and very pretty. Best Carraudes ever. Try in 2018.

Score: 95

James Suckling Maturity: 2018+ 15 February 2012

Sweet berry and currant on the nose, with hints of cedar and sandalwood. Full-bodied, with wonderful milk ciocolate and berry character. Long and supersilky. Love the balance to this. Slightly green tea aromas and flavors at the finish hold me back a little.

Score: 89 - 92

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 April 2010

Bright ruby-red. Delicious fruit-forward nose is remarkably charming in its strawberry, blackcurrant and smoky plum aromas. Then fresh and juicy on the palate, with flavors similar to the aromas and hints of flint and black pepper on the long, fruity, mineral-tinged finish. A charming Carruades that should offer immense drinking appeal during the first six to eight years of its life in bottle. Carruades is made from young vines on a north-exposed parcel close to the main chateau building, and from some younger, high-quality vines in the heart of the Lafite vineyard. While these latter centrally located vines are currently too young to be used for the grand vin, says Chevallier, "they have greatness written all over them. And when the grapes are as fully ripe as they were in '09, Carruades is a really lovely wine."

Score: 86 - 89

Ian D'Agata, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2010

The second wine of Chateau Lafite - both are now the subject of frenzied demand from the Far East, with prices of available vintages spiralling upwards of £2k, over-taking wines of far better quality. Buying Carruades en primeur is now difficult to say the least. 50CS, 42M 5CF 2PV. 50% of production. Juicy fruit nose, lots of bright red fruit. Slightly warm. V open in the mouth. Generous and juicy with red fruit at the core. Easy drinking and simple. Not for the long term.

Score: 87 - 89

Albany Vintners 01 April 2010

55% of the crop. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Very deep crimson with a sliglty pale rim. And lots of blue in it – a bit of press wine? Sumptuous nose already. Lightly inky start but then luscious texture and so round and polished. Great freshness and enormous polish, Doesn't taste as though there was lots of press wine in here. Great round stuff. Just a little kick at the end and a very slight hole towards the very end of the palate – otherwise fabissimo. But quite early maturing?

Score: 17

JancisRobinson.com, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2015-2025 01 April 2010

A blend of 50.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42.4% Merlot, 2.2% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the Carruades has a refined, very well delineated bouquet of blackberry, a touch of plum, Mirabelle, cedar and smoke. The palate is medium-bodied, fine tannins, smooth and sensuous, not a powerful Carruades, more approachable than previous vintages, the tannins a little softer and smoother. Good length. Very fine..but it does not exceed expectations. Tasted March 2010.

Score: 89 - 91

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate 30 March 2010