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The 2020 Lafon-Rochet was picked September 15–20 and marks the first collaboration between consultants Jean-Claude Berrouet and Eric Boissenot, who both worked on the blending. It has a really lovely bouquet of blackberry, briar and faint estuarine scents, hints of crushed iris flower emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and modest depth, and quite fleshy; lip-smacking salinity urges you to take another sip. Intriguingly, it comes across a tad Pomerol-like on the finish, completing a top-notch Lafon-Rochet that may well end up at the top of my banded score.
(61% CS, 33% M, 3% CF, 3% PV; 13.5% ABV)
Freshly cassis-sweet to smell, a hint of gravel; medium-full, fresh in acidity, very finely tannic; succulently rich yet restrained, a classic “drier” claret profile, but freshly sweet-cored, beautifully textured, long, and graceful, concentrated without being in any way thick, and with an absolutely lovely farewell, a perfect mirror of all the tastes before. Classy, complete, aristocratic wine. 2030–50+.
Blackberry and spice with firm, chewy tannins that show polish and focus. It’s medium-to full-bodied with excellent energy. Blackberry and blackcurrant character on the finish with a touch of cedar and spice.
Full bottle an admirably light 1,290 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot.
Deep lustrous purplish crimson. Interesting vitality to the nose, almost as though biodynamic techniques were employed here. Lovely balance of ripeness and vitality. This is a very successful 2020. It may be dismissed by some because the tannins are not obvious but it's a delightful drink – already! Very distinctive. Perhaps not for seriously long-term cellaring but well done Basile Tesseron for producing something so appetising and groundbreaking. The finish is impressively persistent.
The 2020 Lafon-Rochet is fabulous. The aromatics along are dazzling. Gracious and yet effusive, with tons of nuance, the 2020 dazzles from start to finish. Inky dark fruit, new leather, spice, lavender and menthol fill the room with soaring intensity. Silky, elegant and so pure, Lafon-Rochet is shaping up to be one of the real under the radar gems of 2020. It's a terrific effort from Basile Tesseron. Don't miss it.
Deeply colored, the wine is full-bodied, concentrated, long, dark, round, dark and energetic. The fruits are plush, ripe, sweet and fleshy. The mid-palate shows off its blend of cassis, blackberry, cocoa, tobacco leaf and spice with little effort. The finish is long, clean and vibrant with a creamy textured endnote. This should age and develop nicely for at least 2-3 decades. 94-96
I loved the 2020 Château Lafon-Rochet, a rich, powerful, concentrated Saint-Estèphe that stays beautifully balanced and elegant. Lots of pure cassis and darker currant fruits as well as tobacco, chocolate, and damp herb notes define the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied, with plenty of mid-palate depth, building tannins, and a great finish. It's going to take 7-8 years to hit the early stages of maturity, but it's a brilliant wine. The blend is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with an alcohol of 13.5 and a pH of 3.68. Tasted twice.
Tasted by Jane Anson(at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)
Part of Best St-Estephe 2020 wines tasted en primeur
Attractive, well-paced fruits, plenty of clarity to the flavours, together with a feeling of linearity to the tannins. Austerity through the mid-palate constrains the brambled cassis fruit, but things build back up again and this is a measured, successful wine that will age well. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. First year with Eric Boissenot accompanying Jean-Claude Berrouet as consultants.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2042