1997 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, France (750ml)
The wine has a spicy bouquet, a silky, sweet palate, with a fruity, voluptuous finish. This delicious vintage will undoubtedly mature more quickly than its two older siblings, 1995 and 1996. The secateurs were brought out on 8 September to snip off the first bunches of Merlot: this early harvest came after ideal winter and spring weather. However, the summer turned out to be rather rainy. Fortunately, like the year before, a glorious September enabled us to pick the grapes in the sunshine. This was one of the longest harvests ever to take place at Lafite. Very careful sorting was carried out to ensure that only healthy bunches were selected.
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Only 26% of the crop made it into the final blend, resulting in only 15,000 cases of the 1997 Lafite-Rothschild. Readers should not ignore this wine because of the negative press surrounding the 1997 vintage. It boasts an opaque dense purple color in addition to a gorgeously sweet, expansive perfume of cedar wood, black currants, lead pencil, and minerals. What follows is a fat mid-palate, medium body, explosive fruit and richness, soft tannin, and a velvety texture. It is a beautiful, compelling Lafite-Rothschild that can be drunk young, yet promises to evolve for 15+ years. Although one of the most forward Lafites ever tasted, it is all the more captivating because of this characteristic. Don't miss it!
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 92 pts.
Wonderfully complex on the nose, with licorice, spice, berry and tobacco character. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicious finish.
- Wine Spectator, 90 pts.
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