Robert Parker – 93
Tasted at the château, the 1985 Lafite-Rothschild was the best example of this wine that I have tasted a dozen or so times. It has a beautiful nose that is just classic Lafite. It is still fresh yet understated, stately even, with tobacco and cedar-tinged red berry fruit. It is not a powerful bouquet, but there is something…magnetic about it. The palate is still youthful with fine tannin, like the nose, understated yet very well balanced. The acidity here is perfectly judged with an almost nonchalant finish. You almost miss its virtues – it is just so self-effacing and insouciant. Just a really lovely Lafite-Rothschild at the peak of its powers. Tasted March 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030
JancisRobinson.com – 17.5
Ruby and not that dense. A little bit of brett? Sweet but also quite chewy. This seemed very ripe but not crystal clear. Tough in some ways but with some lusciousness too. I thought it was a Pauillac 1982 but didn’t, as with the other two wines served blind with it, get that it was a first growth.
Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015
Vinous – 90
Medium red. Rather unforthcoming nose hints at redcurrant and cedar, along with a faint herbaceousness. Strong in extract and high in acidity, but today the wine flesh and fruit are dominated by its structure and grip. A marginally disappointing showing for Lafite, in which herbaceous hints and lack of flesh give the wine a slightly disjointed character. I would like to have found greater mid-palate verve. Drink now through 2012.