Tasted 7 Times Since Bottling With Consistent Notes Broodingly backward and in need of considerable bottle age, the 1988 is a classic expression of Lafite. This deeply-colored wine exhibits the tell-tale Lafite bouquet of cedar, subtle herbs, dried pit fruits, minerals, and cassis. Extremely concentrated, with brilliantly focused flavors and huge tannins, this backward, yet impressively endowed Lafite-Rothschild may well turn out to be the wine of the vintage! Anticipated maturity: 2000-2035.
but it was the showing of the 1988 Lafite Rothschild and 1982 Château Margaux. Both of those wines were spectacularly young, vigorous, and intense, and to me, were the class of the first flight of Bordeaux. 99pts Hedonist's Gazette April 2015
Tasted blind, the 1988 Lafite-Rothschild surprises everyone by surpassing both the 1989 and 1990. It has that unmistakable classic nose of pencil lead and cedar, less primary fruit than that aforementioned pair, yet greater precision, more focus and more class. The palate is both clean and precise with exquisite balance, fine tannins, cedar and tobacco infusing the black fruit with pencil lead notes becoming more accentuated towards the finish. It has been a while since I last tasted the 1988 and to be honest, I cannot remember it being this good. But now, of the three vintages that tailend the decade I would choose the 1988 Lafite-Rothschild. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the property.
Beautiful and subtle on the nose, with mineral, berry, licorice and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a pretty balance of fruit and mint. Long and caressing. Real claret here. Everyone talks about 1989, but this is very close in quality.--'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). James Suckling
I always loved the 1988 and this is a pretty bottle with finesse and wonderful length, showing the uniqueness of Lafite. Medium body, ultra-fine tannins and a refined and polished finish. The subtle currant, tobacco and Spanish cedar shows through here. Perfect now.
Cassis, cedar, tobacco, graphite, earth and spice on the nose. The wine is full bodied, concentrated and still tannic. The fruit is best described at noble. You can sense its good breeding. But there is an austerity and a hint of under ripeness in the finish that takes away from the wine. The long, rich, cassis and rhubarb filled finish is joy, but the sense of under ripeness takes away from the pleasure. Fans of older, more traditional, less ripe wines will like this more than I did.
This was a vintage that remained tight and closed for a long time. They are just starting to drink this at the chateau apparently, as Salin says it is their dinner wine right now. The salinity is coming through, giving a sappy grip through the mid palate, the effortless racy elegance of an older Cabernet Sauvignon with its truffles, smoked cedar, its grilled black fruits. Colour wise this is very much still intact, just a slight bricking at the edges. A lovely example of how you should never give up on wines from great estates – there will always be a moment when the terroir will out, as we saw on recent tastings of the 1975. The 1988 is certainly having one of those moments, and its long finessed finish should be savoured. 72% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasted by Jane Anson
Part of Four decades of Lafite Rothschild
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