Chateau Lafite Rothschild   Lafite Rothschild

2012 Lafite Rothschild

By Chateau Lafite Rothschild

2012 Lafite Rothschild from Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The venerable 2012 vintage of Lafite Rothschild from Chateau Lafite Rothschild emerges as a testament to the resilient character of the château's terroir amidst the challenges presented by the growing season. A year marked by contrasts, 2012 began with unwelcoming cold snaps and ended with a sublime Indian summer. Such climatic caprices intricately wove into the fabric of this vintage's persona.


The Confluence of Heritage and Harmony

Despite the tumultuous weather pattern that year, the exceptional savoir-faire of Chateau Lafite Rothschild facilitated a splendid rendition of their flagship label. One discerns, upon decanting, a poised dance between restraint and complexity – a signature stillness before the deeply aromatic tempest unfurls its array of dark fruits and refined oak nuances.


Pauillac's Prowess in the Glass

The 2012 Lafite Rothschild offers an olfactory bouquet with layers that seem to transcend the very notion of dimension. Blackcurrant and graphite notes command immediate attention, underpinned by subplots of cigar box and a whisper of violets. On the palate, the wine is harmoniously balanced—a testament to the master blending of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot—and reveals tannins that are both noble and neatly resolved, pointing towards excellent ageing potential. Indeed, for investors, this vintage represents an intriguing opportunity; a year somewhat overshadowed by its neighbours yet poised for commendation upon maturity.

To taste the 2012 Lafite Rothschild now begins to unfurl its chronological tapestry but give it time, and one anticipates nuances that will beautifully burgeon with each passing annum. The sapid conclusion suggests an ensemble cast from the estate’s repository of vintages, affirming once again why this château's releases are lionised within Bordeaux circles.

For those seeking to diversify their portfolio with a Pauillac possessing a unique narrative – shaped by the capricious whims of nature, yet masterfully crafted into elegance – the 2012 Lafite Rothschild merits serious consideration.

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Scores and tasting notes


This is beautiful for the vintage. Full body and very tender with fine tannins and a pretty finish. Attractive currant, cedar, and sweet tobacco character. More delicate than the 2011.

James Suckling -, April 4th 2013


The classically styled 2012 exhibits attractive elegance, medium body and outstanding concentration, but not the complexity and depth or prodigious qualities of many other recent Lafites. It is a relatively soft, spicy effort displaying notes of crushed rocks, white chocolate, black currants and graphite. It should be drinkable in 5-8 years and last for two decades. Charles Chevalier was candid in saying that the tropical heat wave, along with the poor flowering resulted in intense labor in the vineyard and during the harvest where triage was the operative word, and had to be done thoroughly and consistently. The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and 0.5% Petit Verdot, was the result of a harvest that took place between September 28 and October 9 for the Merlot, October 9-16 for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The small amount of Cabernet Franc included in the Carruades de Lafite was harvested on October 11 - 12. Only 38% of the production made it into the grand vin. If the 2012 fills out completely it could turn out similar to the 1998 Lafite.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #206


Tasted en primeur at the chateau. The Grand Vin was picked between 28th September (with the Merlot) and 16th October (with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) and is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Merlot and a pinch of Petit Verdot. It has a fragrant pencil lead bouquet with small dark cherries and brambly blackberry fruit. The definition is very fine with moderate intensity. The palate is more convincing than the aromatics at this point with fully ripe, quite tensile tannins and very good cohesion. Naturally it does not have the weight of a top Lafite vintage, although the focus is impressive. There is a nascent femininity about this Lafite and it might show much better after bottling. Tasted April 2013.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2013


The 2012 Lafite Rothschild, representing only 38% of their total production, is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance mostly Merlot. It is a very stylish, elegant, yet concentrated Lafite Rothschild with an opaque ruby/purple color, soft well-integrated tannins, nice integrated oak, acidity and alcohol. Lafites’s 2012 reveals good, opaque, ruby/purple color and plenty of lead pencil and blackcurrant fruit. The wine is medium-bodied and should hit its prime 2020-2035.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 29 April 2015

Vintage performance