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Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 2003

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The climatic year was marked by an exceptional heat wave the first fortnight of August with temperatures exceeding 40°C together with low rainfall throughout the vegetative cycle. When tasted during the 'Futures', the wine proved to be particularly rich, intense and unctuous with nice rounded tannins that offered a convivial side to the wine at this very early stage.
Category Red Wine
Varietals
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Appellation Pauillac
Brand Château Lafite Rothschild
Alcohol/vol 12.9%
  • we97

Wine EnthusiastThis is a splendid wine. Yes, it is more powerful than the usual aristocratic Lafites, but it still manages to retain a special air of great elegance and presence. The fruits are black, the tannins immensely powerful, the flavors are of black figs, dates, cocoa. At the end, there is a vibrant acidity that shows through, which promises a great life for this great wine.

Roger Voss, May 1, 2006
  • ws96

Wine SpectatorSubtle, complex aromas of berries, licorice and currants. Full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a long finish. Very well-integrated wine. Lovely stuff. Wonderful length and finesse. Best after 2012. 20,000 cases made.

James Suckling, March 31, 2006
  • wa100

Wine AdvocateA modern day version of the 1959 Lafite, the 2003 Lafite Rothschild was bottled in mid-May, 2005 after achieving 12.9% natural alcohol - hardly an astonishing figure given the vintage's weather conditions. A combination of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, it represents a ripe version of the essence of Lafite-Rothschild. Dense purple-colored, with classic notes of graphite intertwined with melted licorice, creme de cassis, smoke, and flowers, it reveals extraordinary richness, opulence, power, purity, intensity, and viscosity. Whether this wine will close down or not is questionable as it is somewhat atypical given its sweetness and softness. Analytically, there are extremely high tannins, which I suspect will assert themselves in the future. Production in 2003 was less than half of normal. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2050.

Robert Parker, April 2006