Carruades de Lafite 2020
• Domaine: Château Lafite-Rothschild
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Second Wine, First Growth, 1èr Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Baron Eric de Rothschild, chairman of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR), described Château Lafite Rothschild and its terroir as a viticultural tour de force with the power to, “turn bare earth into heaven.” This is no exception for the Second Wine of this property, Carruades de Lafite. Carruades de Lafite is a formidable wine that allows lovers of the incredible terroir and winemaking prowess of Château Lafite Rothschild to experience the treasures of this estate while waiting for their bottle of grand vin to blossom.
The property is currently headed by Saskia de Rothschild, who took over management responsibilities from her father in 2017. Prior to that, the property was run by Baron Eric de Rothschild, the chairman of Domaines Barons de Rothschild for 42 years. This holding company has vineyards all over the globe, including China, Argentina and Chile. The château has been owned by the same branch of the Rothschild family since 1868. The wine from this estate has continued to captivate the minds of wine drinkers around the globe. The late American president Thomas Jefferson was reported to have been a lifelong consumer of its great wines. He had a penchant for the finer things and spent $10,000 on his wines one year -- that's the equivalent of 1 million dollars today. A hefty amount of that purchase consisted of wines from Château Lafite Rothschild and the other great First Growth, Château Haut Brion. Naturally, his extravagant lifestyle led him into debt and towards the end of his life he was practically penniless. His biggest regret? That he couldn't drink wine from Château Lafite Rothschild anymore.
Lafite Rothschild has an illustrious past, with references to its exalted wines that date back to as early as 1234. The chateau rose to prominence in the 17th century, largely due to contributions of Marquis Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur. Known as, “The Wine Prince,” the Marquis de Ségur improved the viticultural techniques at Lafite and introduced the wines to royalty at the court of Versailles. The excellence of the wine was undeniable, and soon Lafite Rothschild’s Grand Vin became known as the wine of kings. Lafite Rothschild cemented its reputation when it was recognized as one of the First Growths of the 1855 Classification, earning it much-deserved prestige on a global scale. As the years progressed, new innovations improved the viticultural process on the estate. Dairy cows were introduced to organically fertilize the property, and the estate built its own cooperage for making barrels to age the wines to perfection. At Lafite Rothschild, tradition marries artistic innovation, and the result is great wine for generations.
Carruades de Lafite has similar characteristics to the grand vin of Château Lafite Rothschild. Its name derives from the Carruades plateau, a group of plots that were acquired in 1845 near the vines on the Château hilltop. The wine has a softer feel, largely due to the higher percentages of Merlot. Yet make no mistake, Carruades de Lafite is a formidable Second Wine with plenty of ageing power.
"Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Carruades de Lafite, like its big sibling, is a little youthfully shy to begin, soon unfurling to offer notes of Morello cherries, raspberry leaves, baked blackberries and spice box, plus suggestions of pencil lead, lavender and Provence herbs. The medium-bodied palate is chock-full of juicy black fruits, framed by velvety tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and lifted. This 2020 is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot." Lisa Perotti-Brown, May 2021 Week 3: The Wine Advocate (05/20/2021) Rating: 91-93
"A baby Lafite with its lead pencil and cassis aromatics as well as beautiful elegance, the 2020 Carruades De Lafite is medium-bodied and has a precise, elegant mouthfeel, beautiful tannins, and a great finish. As with all the wines from this incredible château, its balance and elegance are what set it apart, and it's one of the finest second wines out there. The blend is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, which is a classic blend for this cuvée." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020: En Primeur - Part 1 (05/23/2021) Rating: 92-94
"The 2020 Carruades de Lafite is so expressive right out of the gate. Sage, mint, dried herbs, tobacco and incense grace the Carruades with gorgeous aromatic presence. A backbone of fine tannins lends energy and direction. Medium in body and impeccably refined, the 2020 Carruades is shaping up to be a gem." Neal Martin, Vinous (June 2021) Rating: 91-93
"More Merlot than in 2019, but as you find repeatedly in 2020, the Cabernet Sauvignon plays an oversized role in the flavour profile. This has a ton of impact and intensity, coffee and black chocolate with angular tannins that will benefit from softening over ageing. Plenty of Pauillac signature here, with liquorice root and tobacco leaf. A slate texture gives definition to the end of play. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend" Jane Anson, Decanter, Primeur Week Bordeaux (04/30/2021) Rating: 92
|Brand||Château Lafite Rothschild|