Chateau Lafite Rothschild   Carruades de Lafite

2003 Carruades de Lafite

By Chateau Lafite Rothschild

2003 Carruades de Lafite from Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The renowned 2003 Carruades de Lafite emerges as one of the truly notable expressions from Chateau Lafite Rothschild. This vintage encapsulates a year that was divisive among Bordeaux aficionados, owing to an exceptionally hot summer that brought about an unorthodox ripening calendar for the noble vines of Pauillac.


The Singular Impact of 2003's Climatic Odyssey

What sets the 2003 Carruades de Lafite apart is its unique narrative written in a period of extremity. The heatwave that marked this year's summer imposed its will upon the vineyards; yet, it was Chateau Lafite Rothschild's mastery that wrestled such challenge into a distinctive and investable expression of terroir and time. It is a resplendent example of how responsiveness to climatic challenges can yield wines of character and poise.


A Taste Profile Sculpted by the Elements

The typicality of the Bordeaux blend is pronounced, yet exaggerated by the concentration brought forth through heat-induced stress. The blackcurrant and cedar notes, so quintessential of Pauillac, persist but find themselves intensified alongside subtle tobacco and graphite nuances. This muscular manifestation from the Chateau gamely demonstrates not just resilience, but the potential for grace under fire - both literally and figuratively.

On the palate, there's evidence of the dense, almost chewy tannins characteristic of such a warm vintage. This feature marks the 2003 Carruades de Lafite as one imbued with longevity - a trait eagerly sought by wine investors and collectors alike. The interplay between power and elegance found in this wine makes it not merely memorable, but undeniably desirable.

In closing, the investment allure of the 2003 Carruades de Lafite is palpable. Its story is one of triumph in adversity, rendered liquid and alive in every bottle. For connoisseurs seeking a vintage with a vivid chapter in Bordeaux's rich wine history, this exhibits all the hallmarks of a prudent acquisition.

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Scores and tasting notes


There are 20,000 cases of the gorgeous 2003 Carruades de Lafite. Despite record heat in June, July and August, this wine only hit 12.8% alcohol, which seems modest compared to the higher alcohol levels of 2009 and 2010. A final blend of 50% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc has resulted in a second wine with a Lafite Rothschild-like character, plenty of creme de cassis, cedarwood and graphite notes as well as a supple, lush texture. It has reached full maturity where it should remain for another 5-10 years. These are two great successes in this vintage that have aged well and surprised me by their intensity and overall complexity.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 27 August 2014


Blueberry and raisin, with spices on the nose. Full bodied, with round chewy tannins and a long finish. A little raisiny but I like it. Give it two or three years. Find the wine

James Suckling -, March 14th 2011


A classic example of a second wine, the 2005 Carruades de Lafite reveals a dark ruby hue with some pink showing at the rim. The moderately intense nose of graphite, forest floor, and sweet black currant fruit is followed by a medium-bodied, elegant wine with light to moderate tannin. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #176


Tasted blind at Farr Vintner’s Left Bank tasting. This has a very expressive, quite floral, Margaux-like nose with fine delineation: blackberry, pencil shavings and smoke. The palate displays a little hardness on the entry, firm backbone here; the fruit not quite in synch with the rest of the wine and jutting out on the finish. Tasted October 2010.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2011

Vintage performance