Carruades des Lafite 2001 (review)

90 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 12.5%

2nd wine of Lafite. Is a 2nd wine used to declassify lesser fruit in order to keep the quality of the main wine high (especially in lesser vintages) ? Or is it used for marketing, to give people a lower priced taste/preview of what the main wine is like ? Presumably both reasons, which can conflict a bit when it comes to production decisions. I suppose the ideal is to make a wine, probably using fruit from younger vines, that drinks early, with less concentration and tannin but gives an indication of the house style and quality.

I don’t drink Lafite enough to know if this has been successfully achieved here. I can only comment on the wine as it is. Which is a dark red, with very pronounced classic lead pencil mineral aromas. It drinks very well, approachable yet classic austere yet flavoursome. Undeniably fine. All your guests will enjoy it. The flavours are however very linear, from start to finish there isn’t much variation. Very polished and fine then, but a little boring for it.

While maybe only a sixth or less of the price of Lafite this is still an expensive wine. I was tempted to buy another bottle but managed to secure some Leoville Barton 2002 for the same price – I think the Leoville will be a more exciting wine.

In the US this sells for US$30 – good value at this price. Drink now – 2015.

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