Chateau Lafite Rothschild   Carruades de Lafite

1999 Carruades de Lafite

By Chateau Lafite Rothschild

1999 Carruades de Lafite from Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France

The 1999 vintage in Bordeaux was not one greeted with the feverish anticipation often reserved for the quintessential years. However, those with insight knew that the turn of the millennium could still bestow a few unsung heroes, among them the 1999 Carruades de Lafite from the esteemed Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Affectionately dubbed as "baby Lafite," this wine encompasses not only the pedigree of its illustrious forebearer but also an individual charm that is both approachable and enduring.


A Study in Elegance and Longevity

While some '99s initially presented as rather shadowed by the sun-drenched 2000s, time has unfurled the depth and complexity woven into the tapestry of the 1999 Carruades de Lafite. In its youth, it displayed an exuberance of blackcurrant and plum—signals from an amenable season that stopped short of excessive heat—giving birth to balanced ripeness.

Now, with years of slumber in a well-maintained cellar, this Pauillac unveils muted tertiary notes of cigar box and pencil shavings—features that speak to an emergence from a fortuitous evolution. The tannins, once firm and commanding, have softened into a structure that is sophisticated yet beckoning. This vintage's current state is an ode to investors' patience and indicative of investment-grade wines' potential for graceful maturation.


An Investment Worthy Vintage

Certainly, for those looking towards Bordeaux for vinous capital growth opportunities, casting an eye over 1999 Carruades de Lafite remains a decision marked by prudence. It offers a palpable sense of the Lafite Rothschild terre—from the aromatic layering to the finesse on the palate—but at a value pivoting away from stratospheric speculation yet into solid ground for growth.

In summation, this Carruades vintage nestles into an enviable niche for collectors and investors alike—one where esteem meets accessibility; Pauillac's prideful potency subdued into an elegant display of what many would call Bordeaux at its understated best.

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Scores and tasting notes


I prefer the nose to the '99 Carruades compared to the '97. Good lift, fine definition, a greater sense of mineralite and vigour. Certainly more clarity although it is more austere than the 2002. The palate is medium-bodied, quite lithe, good acidity and lovely lifted black fruits with a touch of black plum and dates. This is an ebullient, quite vivacious Carruades, akin to a Saint Estephe on the earthy, austere finish. Very admirable for a '99 Second wine. Drink now-2015. Tasted September 2008.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2009


The 1999 Carruades de Lafite is made in the style of its bigger sibling. It reveals graphite, lead pencil, black currant, and cedary aromas, medium body, sweet glycerin, and a gorgeously expansive texture and palate. The wine is long and Lafite-like, and is unbelievably impressive. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2015.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 29 April 2002

Vintage performance