Vintage 2014 87% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc Significant rainfall from November to February restored groundwater reserves, which had already been substantially replenished by average or higher than average rain in 2012 and 2013. Temperatures remained above normal and the vines missed the hearty winter frosts; what we really wanted were about two weeks of crisp mornings with beautiful sunshine, dry cold and no wind. But you cannot control nature! Bud break was early, followed by uniform flowering during the first week of June, spurred on by a rise in temperatures. As always, the impact of the weather on the vineyard was our primary concern, and our teams worked throughout the year to ensure that the grapes reach maturity in perfect health. The onset of ripening occurred over two periods, first in late July and then again after 15 August, creating differences in the ripeness of the bunches on the same vine. Some “juggling” was therefore necessary when it came to the harvests, in order to make the best choices; the pickers and sorters were under strict orders to only keep the very best quality red grapes, suited to the production our Pauillac grand vins. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Beautiful, intense red garnet colour. The nose is complex and fruity, characteristic of 2014, with beautiful floral notes. There is a light toasted note, but the wood is already well integrated. In the mouth, the wine is massive, displaying power and elegance at the same time. Blackberries and blackcurrants again declare a strong presence, and are complemented by the notes of violet and cedar so often found in Lafite’s wines. The palate is fresh, harmonious and very long. There is a pleasant balance between richness and finesse. To enjoy this wine at its peak, one will have to manage to wait about ten years. Vintage 2013 98% Cabernet Sauvignon 2% Merlot The very wet, cold winter resulted in work in the vineyard being considerably delayed; bud break was late, and flowering was three weeks later than the average for the last 50 years; the changeable weather resulted in some flower abortion and uneven grape size, and therefore in lower potential yields than usual. Then at the end of June, the weather suddenly changed, and it was if we were in the middle of the summer with no transitional period; there were however several localized storms (on 27 July and 2 August, depending on location). The situation became somewhat challenging from 15 September: there was rain, sun and a long wait for the grapes to fully ripen, even though they had partially caught up from the late start; things then became more delicate at the end of September, when it became clear there was a risk of “explosive” growth of botrytis! It was like a race with no time to warm up, and we had to find all the pickers we could to go as quickly as possible. Fortunately, the sorting teams were very efficient despite the difficult harvest. The usual picking sequence for the red wine grapes had to be adjusted in order to minimize the impact of the botrytis and to take into account the potential to make the first or second wine. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING) Tasting a great wine so soon after bottling is always a challenge. The nose is very closed, verging on austere. On the palate, its solidity quickly becomes apparent, then volume on the mid-palate, before reaching a long, pleasantly fruity finish, still with traces of the barrel. Patience will be required! Vintage 2012 91% Cabernet Sauvignon 8,5% Merlot 0,5% Petit Verdot 2012 was characterized by difficult weather conditions in the Bordeaux region. After a relatively mild winter, the spring was mostly wet and rainy, especially April, with a hail storm on the 24th. Such conditions hampered fertilization, leading to fears of reduced yields. Work in the vineyard was as vital as ever. June and July alternated heat and humidity. The weather became more stable from the beginning of August, enabling the healthy grapes to finish ripening in good conditions. Nevertheless, there was considerable variation in their degrees of ripeness and a great deal of sorting work was carried out by our teams from the end September. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): The nose is closed at first, then the fruit is expressed, with a slightly dominant woodiness. On the palate, the texture is tight and dense. Then the heart of the wine comes through, with solid, compact balance. Very dense finish, and yet the tannins are “almost light and airy”! Great length with long, lingering flavours. Vintage 2011 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Merlot The weather conditions for the 2011 vintage were unusual and required all of our technical teams’ vigilance and expertise. This was a very early vintage, with an exceptionally hot spring, low rainfall at the beginning of the year, but then more in the summer, and a persistent threat of powdery mildew (a vine disease that is usually quite rare in the Bordeaux region). Finally, just as we were getting ready to harvest, a huge hail storm in the north of Pauillac and Saint Estèphe on 1 September obliged us to reorganize the picking schedule. The plots that had been affected had to be picked first; fortunately, as a result of the conditions, the grapes had ripened early, and quality was not compromised. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Intense, deep crimson colour. Dense nose, aromas of red and black fruit, boxwood and spicy notes. Very dense on the palate with fine intensity. Very complex finish. Vintage 2010 87% Cabernet Sauvignon 13% Merlot The vineyard cycle began with a cold, relatively wet winter, resulting in a slightly later bud break than in 2009, in mid-April. Growth was then boosted by dry, sunny weather for the rest of the month. May and June were characterized by alternating periods of rain and sunshine. June began with a cold spell that complicated the flowering of the Merlot, resulting in flower abortion and uneven grape size. Fortunately, July was very dry (less than 20 mm of rain) with relatively high temperatures, which helped the vines to catch up from the delayed flowering. August and September were very dry, with beautiful daytime temperatures and cool nights creating ideal conditions for the grapes to slowly reach optimal ripeness. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Fine, concentrated colour. Solid and dense in the mouth, presenting good structure and well-defined tannins. A long, lingering palate with notes of violets on the finish. The 2010 is an elegant wine with excellent balance. Vintage 2009 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon 17% Merlot 0.5% Petit Verdot The beginning of the growth cycle was a tricky period due to a rather warm, very wet spring. The teams had to be particularly vigilant in order to protect the vines. Fine, stable weather returned in June and continued throughout the summer. In fact conditions became drought like, interspersed in July, August and September with welcome periods of light rain. Plenty of sunshine, with temperatures that were high without becoming scorching, and fairly cool nights enabled slow ripening that pushed the start of the harvests back to the end of September. Exceptionally favourable weather conditions, crowned by harvests in the sun, made for a vintage that was certain to be outstanding. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): A deep bouquet of dark fruit and liquorice. The palate is full-bodied and already expressive, but then becomes tighter, expressing power and exuberance. The youth of this Lafite does not hide its energy, but the distinctive elegance and complexity are already there! Vintage 2008 84% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Merlot 1% Petit Verdot The growing season was closely monitored, coming after a severe winter and some spring frost. Flowering was not very productive, constant humidity favoured disease and the summer was moderately warm. Fortunately, September was fine and so it was possible to wait for the grapes to fully ripen, with late harvests. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Dominated by red fruit, the nose remains clear, precise and complex. In the mouth, the strength and classic style of this wine become apparent. There is fruit, substance, and tannins that are both supple and closely-textured. Vintage 2007 84% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Merlot 1% Petit Verdot Plentiful rain during the winter replenished the groundwater levels; the end of the cold damp winter was marked by a very early bud break. Temperatures in March and April were quite high, which was good for growth. From then until August the weather was grey and mild, without extremes. Luckily from the beginning of September the weather was fine and stable, which enabled the grapes to ripen in peace. Complete ripening for the sugars, tannins and skins was only reached 125 days after flowering – a longer than usual growth season in a year with 13 lunar cycles. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Very ripe red fruit on the nose. Closed at first, then full and open. Elegant and charming, still somewhat discreet, good length. Well-integrated oak. Vintage 2006 82% Cabernet Sauvignon 16% Merlot 2% Cabernet Franc The winter was colder and wetter than in other recent vintages. This was followed by a rather warm spring through to July that led to an early change in the grapes’ colour and good ripening. August was then colder but September was sunny, except for a stormy spell in mid-September which accelerated the harvests. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Beautiful very dark colour. Discreet nose with primary notes that develop in fullness and density. Quite powerful on the palate with very good structure and a nice tannic finish with well-integrated woody notes. Vintage 2005 89% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Merlot 1% Petit Verdot 2005 was the fourth consecutive year to have a deficit in rainfall, but the drought began very early, at the end of May, which allowed the vines to adapt by reducing their leaf area. The very hot weather in June and July gave way to progressively cooler weather in August and the cool nights allowed good acidity levels to be maintained, resulting in slow steady ripening. A year of atypical weather but in the end ideal for the production of healthy, very ripe grapes with wonderful freshness. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Deep colour. An intense, delicate, subtle, complex nose. Very clean and direct palate on the attack, then developing volume and a nicely rounded structure. Immensely powerful, great length, density and elegance. Vintage 2004 90.5% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Merlot 0.5% Petit Verdot After a rainy winter and a cold spring, June and July were dry and warm. August was mild and in September the weather was good without being very warm, which led to slow ripening and the harvests being pushed back to the end of September. Patience was needed to wait for the grapes to become perfectly ripe. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): On the nose, the wine is closed and then opens up slowly. Fruity, slightly roasted notes. On the palate, the attack is generous, the wine then evolves a full-bodied balance, with richness and great elegance. A very long, smooth, silky finish. Vintage 2003 86% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot 2003 will always be a memorable vintage due to the heatwave in the Bordeaux region and in the country generally. A two-week period spell of scorching heat suddenly arrived in August, with temperatures rising above 40°C. Rainfall was very low throughout the vines’ cycle (555 mm between October 2002 and September 2003, compared to an average of 850 mm) but the soil remained relatively cool and the vines did not suffer from a lack of water. Our work in the vineyard had to be adapted to deal with these exceptional conditions. Leaf removal operations were thus reduced in order to protect the vines from the scalding effect of the heat. Fortunately, water reserves in the soil and more moderate temperatures from the start of September enabled the ripening process to be completed. weather in 2003 saw an exceptional heat wave in the first half of August with temperatures exceeding 40°C, together with low rainfall throughout the growth cycle. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): Deep colour with very ripe red fruit on the nose. On the palate, the vintage proves to be particularly rich, intense and smooth with very rounded tannins. Long persistent finish. Vintage 2002 87% Cabernet Sauvignon 9.5% Merlot 3.5% Cabernet Franc The early bud break due to a warm, dry winter was followed by a rather cold, rainy period during flowering which led to coulure (flower abortion) and millerandage (poor fertilization with mixed size berries). From the beginning of June, the yield was expected to be low. The rather cool July and August brought the same unexceptional weather as the preceding months. However, this did not stop the grapes changing colour and slowly ripening. The weather was excellent as the harvests approached; September was superb, sunny and dry with a north-east wind which accelerated the ripening process. TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING): This is a very dense, robust vintage with tight tannins and texture, good balance and tremendous length. Vintage 2001 86.5% Cabernet Sauvignon 13.5% Merlot After a very damp winter and very mild temperatures, bud break was early. The vines flowered uniformly during the usual period. The summer was alternately warm and cloudy until the harvests – July was rather cool, August rather warm and September cool again with some rain. Ripening was fairly uniform and the harvest took place in very good conditions. Tasting Notes: Intense bouquet of black fruit. This is a very elegant, harmonious wine, with powerful, ripe tannins, very pure fruit and good length.