Lafite Rothschild 1985

Pauillac, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

Tasted at the château, the 1985 Lafite-Rothschild was the best example of this wine that I have tasted a dozen or so times. It has a beautiful nose that is just classic Lafite. It is still fresh yet understated, stately even, with tobacco and cedar-tinged red berry fruit. It is not a powerful bouquet, but there is something…magnetic about it. The palate is still youthful with fine tannin, like the nose, understated yet very well balanced. The acidity here is perfectly judged with an almost nonchalant finish. You almost miss its virtues - it is just so self-effacing and insouciant. Just a really lovely Lafite-Rothschild at the peak of its powers. Tasted March 2016.

Score: 93

Neal Martin, robertparker.com Maturity: 2016-2030 01 July 2016

Ruby and not that dense. A little bit of brett? Sweet but also quite chewy. This seemed very ripe but not crystal clear. Tough in some ways but with some lusciousness too. I thought it was a Pauillac 1982 but didn't, as with the other two wines served blind with it, get that it was a first growth.

Score: 17 - 18

Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2000-2015 16 August 2010

Slightly watery rim, but the core hue looks very youthful. Light tealeaf aroma. Quite charming. Delicate. Broad. No rough edges. This was a wine I could not resist swallowing, even mid-morning on a Saturday. A wine with a beginning, a middle and an end, and great balance.

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, Jancisrobinson.com Maturity: 2002-2012 31 August 2005

Medium red. Rather unforthcoming nose hints at redcurrant and cedar, along with a faint herbaceousness. Strong in extract and high in acidity, but today the wine flesh and fruit are dominated by its structure and grip. A marginally disappointing showing for Lafite, in which herbaceous hints and lack of flesh give the wine a slightly disjointed character. I would like to have found greater mid-palate verve. Drink now through 2012.

Score: 90

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar Maturity: 2002-2012 01 July 2002

The 1985 Lafite should be better, but for followers of fashion, its star-studded price will fetch you a moderately intense, cedary, woody, herb-and-leather-scented bouquet, and attractive, very forward and developed flavors displayed in a medium-bodied format. The finish is softly tannic and after a pensive sip, one is likely to ask, Is this all there is?

Score: 87

Robert Parker, 'Bordeaux' 3rd Ed. Maturity: 1991-2008 01 January 1998

The 1985 Lafite should be better, but for followers of fashion, its star-studded price will fetch you a moderately intense, cedary, woody, herb-and-leather-scented bouquet, and attractive, very forward and developed flavors displayed in a medium-bodied format. The finish is softly tannic and after a pensive sip, one is likely to ask, Is this all there is?

Score: 87

Robert Parker, 'Bordeaux' 3rd Ed. Maturity: 1991-2008 01 January 1998

The 1985 Lafite is revealing more class and complexity than I predicted. A moderately intense, cedary, woody, herb and berry-scented bouquet is attractive. The wine is open-knit and ripe, with fine tannins, sweet, medium-bodied, mineral, and cassis-scented flavors, fine depth, and a graceful, harmonious feel. It is beginning to blossom and appears to possess more depth and character than I had thought.

Score: 90

Robert Parker, robertparker.com Maturity: 1995-2010 01 August 1993

The 1985 Lafite is revealing more class and complexity than I predicted. A moderately intense, cedary, woody, herb and berry-scented bouquet is attractive. The wine is open-knit and ripe, with fine tannins, sweet, medium-bodied, mineral, and cassis-scented flavors, fine depth, and a graceful, harmonious feel. It is beginning to blossom and appears to possess more depth and character than I had thought.

Score: 90

Robert Parker, robertparker.com Maturity: 1995-2010 01 August 1993

A graceful wine with cedar, berry and cherry aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a succulent, sweet fruit finish. Delicious to drink now.

Score: 90

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 15 September 1996