1996 Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 1er Grand Cru Classé
199 Ratings
Detail
199 Ratings
1996 Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 1er Grand Cru Classé

Wine Description

(From 2013 Vintage) In the mouth the wine shows a gigantic size. The taste attracts attention by the tempting fruit flavors. Going from red berries and black fruits to soft herbs and reglisse. It is elegant and complex at the same time. The flavors constantly grow in strength through the intense concentration. The aftertaste remains lush and has a great abundance of fine fruit flavors.

Winemaker's Notes

The 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is unquestionably this renowned estate's greatest wine. As I indicated last year, only 38% of the crop was deemed grand enough to be put into the final blend, which is atypically high in Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot). This massive wine may be the biggest, largest-scaled Lafite I have ever tasted. It will require many years to come around, so I suspect all of us past the age of fifty might want to give serious consideration as to whether we should be laying away multiple cases of this wine. It is also the read more...first Lafite-Rothschild to be put into a new engraved bottle (designed to prevent fraudulent imitations). The wine exhibits a thick-looking, ruby/purple color, and a knock-out nose of lead pencil, minerals, flowers, and black currant scents. Extremely powerful and full-bodied, with remarkable complexity for such a young wine, this huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality. This wine is even richer than it was prior to bottling. It should unquestionably last for 40-50 years. (hide)

Shipping Information

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The 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is unquestionably this renowned estate's greatest wine. As I indicated last year, only 38% of the crop was deemed grand enough to be put into the final blend, which is atypically high in Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot). This massive wine may be the biggest, largest-scaled Lafite I have ever tasted. It will require many years to come around, so I suspect all of us past the age of fifty might want to give serious consideration as to whether we should be laying away multiple cases of this wine. It is also the read more...first Lafite-Rothschild to be put into a new engraved bottle (designed to prevent fraudulent imitations). The wine exhibits a thick-looking, ruby/purple color, and a knock-out nose of lead pencil, minerals, flowers, and black currant scents. Extremely powerful and full-bodied, with remarkable complexity for such a young wine, this huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality. This wine is even richer than it was prior to bottling. It should unquestionably last for 40-50 years. (hide)

Expert Reviews
Read all 5 expert reviews
  • Robert Parker
    (From 2002 Vintage) "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 Roth...
  • Robert Parker
    (From 1988 Vintage) "Tasted 7 Times Since Bottling With Consistent Notes Broodingly backward and in need of considerable bottle age, the 1988 is a classic expression of Lafite. This deeply-colored wine exhibits the tell-tale Lafite bouquet of cedar, subtle herbs, dried pit fruits, minerals, and cassis. Extremely concentrated, with brilliantly focused flavors and huge tannins, this backward, yet impressively endowed Lafite-Rothschild may well turn out to be the wine of the vintage! Anticipated maturity: 2000-2035."
  • Robert Parker
    (From 1953 Vintage) "On two occasions I rated the 1953 100 and on another occasion, nearly perfect. According to some old-timers, the wine has been fully mature for almost 30 years. It possesses that extraordinary Lafite fragrance of minerals, lead pencil, cedar, and spice."
  • Wine Spectator
    (From 1998 Vintage) Rating: 93/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 01/31/01
  • Wine Advocate
    (From 1998 Vintage) Rating: (91-94) - As reviewed in Wine Advocate # 122 on Apr-99