Chateau Lafite Rothschild   Lafite Rothschild

2002 Lafite Rothschild

By Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The 2002 Lafite Rothschild from Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

In the montage of vintages that have elegantly emerged from the storied cellars of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, the 2002 Lafite Rothschild presents itself with an aura of dignified maturity that warrants recognition. As an arbiter of fine wines, I understand the depth that time contributes to an enigmatic bottle such as this—a vintage sculpted by the hands of nature and the sagacity of the vintner.


Refined Elegance in a Challenging Vintage

The year 2002 in Bordeaux can be summarised neatly: a challenge overcome. Pauillac weathered a damp spring and autumns similars-tests, causing initial trepidation among enthusiasts and investors alike. Yet it was through meticulous toil and undoubted skill that the vineyards at Lafite Rothschild yielded a vintage marked not by struggle but by surprising elegance and poise—an unanticipated gift from the terroir to the diligent.


An Investment-worthy Composition

The nuances of this particular year exhibit a subtle counterpoint to its richer predecessors. The 2002 Lafite Rothschild unfurls in the glass, suggesting dark cherries and blackcurrant, gracefully entwined with threads of savoury earthiness and refined cedar. Its structure—both assertive yet reserved—stalks a careful line between power and finesse, rewarding those persistent enough to appreciate its complex overture.

Amidst a backdrop where Bordeaux battles to uphold its prestige against younger, more vivacious contenders, this vintage represents an investment in nuance, a collector's piece boasting a repertoire of harmony between vintage variation and the unmistakable character that is the legacy of Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Charting its evolution right up until this present moment, one might posit that the 2002 Lafite Rothschild has transitioned into a window of optimal appreciation. It stands as evidence that even a so-called "off-year" can challenge preconceptions, offering resonance and depth for those willing to venture beyond hailed accolades. With notes bestowing an experience akin to a finely aged tome—one brimming with wisdom rather than exuberance—this wine punctuates cellars with questions for the palate as much as answers. A surety for any wine investment portfolio with an eye for long-term dividends in character and complexity.

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Scores and tasting notes


A brilliant offering and a candidate for wine of the vintage, this is classic Lafite that reminded me somewhat of the 1976, although the vintage conditions were completely different. This is a medium-weight, quintessentially elegant style of Lafite with notes of lead pencil shavings/graphite along with black currants, plums, and crushed rocks/mineral. Wonderfully pure, dense, with a deep ruby/purple color and loads of fruit, definition, and a long finish, this is a brilliant, elegant Lafite Rothschild that builds incrementally in the mouth and has more power and density than it initially seems. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 28 April 2005


Tasted blind at Farr’s 2002 Bordeaux tasting. Very deep colour. The nose is complex and intense with aromas of blackberry, pencil-lead, black olive, sous-bois and cedar. Very Pauillac and it just builds and builds in the glass. The palate displays a seductive entry, supple texture, very smooth and silky with blackberry, boysenberry and something quite sweet, dates or fig. Then towards the finish, it draws back and becomes more tannic and masculine, as if it say: “that’s enough”. An intriguing wine, quite mercurial in the glass. Tasted October 2009.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2010

Vintage performance