Lafite Rothschild 1988
Tasting Notes and Scores
Tasted 7 Times Since Bottling With Consistent Notes Broodingly backward and in need of considerable bottle age, the 1988 is a classic expression of Lafite. This deeply-colored wine exhibits the tell-tale Lafite bouquet of cedar, subtle herbs, dried pit fruits, minerals, and cassis. Extremely concentrated, with brilliantly focused flavors and huge tannins, this backward, yet impressively endowed Lafite-Rothschild may well turn out to be the wine of the vintage! Anticipated maturity: 2000-2035.
Tasted blind, the 1988 Lafite-Rothschild surprises everyone by surpassing both the 1989 and 1990. It has that unmistakable classic nose of pencil lead and cedar, less primary fruit than that aforementioned pair, yet greater precision, more focus and more class. The palate is both clean and precise with exquisite balance, fine tannins, cedar and tobacco infusing the black fruit with pencil lead notes becoming more accentuated towards the finish. It has been a while since I last tasted the 1988 and to be honest, I cannot remember it being this good. But now, of the three vintages that tailend the decade I would choose the 1988 Lafite-Rothschild. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the property.
Beautiful and subtle on the nose, with mineral, berry, licorice and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a pretty balance of fruit and mint. Long and caressing. Real claret here. Everyone talks about 1989, but this is very close in quality.--'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). James Suckling