Carruades de Lafite

Pauillac

Château Lafite Rothschild’s second wine, Carruades de Lafite presents similar characteristics to the Grand Vin, but with its own personality linked to a higher proportion of Merlot and to specific plots that are used to produce Carruades. The name comes from the Carruades plateau, a group of plots acquired in 1845 just next to the vines on the Château hilltop.

2_Carruades-de-Lafite
Carruades de Lafite Pauillac

Vintages

  • Vintage 2011

    • 55% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 39% Merlot
    • 3.5% Cabernet Franc
    • 2.5% Petit Verdot

    The weather conditions for the 2011 vintage were unusual and required all of our technical teams’ vigilance and expertise.
    This was a very early vintage, with an exceptionally hot spring, low rainfall at the beginning of the year, but then more in the summer, and a persistent threat of powdery mildew (a vine disease that is usually quite rare in the Bordeaux region). Finally, just as we were getting ready to harvest, a huge hail storm in the north of Pauillac and Saint Estèphe on 1 September obliged us to reorganize the picking schedule. The plots that had been affected had to be picked first; fortunately, as a result of the conditions, the grapes had ripened early, and quality was not compromised.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Closed nose. Very flavourful palate, fairly full-bodied with well-defined tannins.
    Notes of red fruit and tobacco. Aromas of coffee, tobacco and spices.
    A long, very well-rounded wine.

  • Vintage 2010

    • 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 42.5% Merlot
    • 5% Cabernet Franc
    • 2.5% Petit Verdot

    The vineyard cycle began with a cold, relatively wet winter, resulting in a slightly later bud break than in 2009, in mid-April. Growth was then boosted by dry, sunny weather in April. May and June were characterized by alternating periods of rain and sunshine. June began with a cold spell that complicated the flowering of the Merlot, resulting in flower abortion and uneven grape size.
    Fortunately, July was very dry (less than 20 mm of rain) with relatively high temperatures, which helped the vines to catch up from the delayed flowering. August and September were very dry, with beautiful daytime temperatures and cool nights creating ideal conditions for the grapes to slowly reach optimal ripeness.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Floral bouquet. Notes of ripe fruit, blackcurrants, cedar, and spices.
    A dense, rich wine with very refined, well-integrated tannins. Excellent length; overall, an elegant, balanced wine.

  • Vintage 2009

    • 51% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 42% Merlot
    • 5% Cabernet Franc
    • 2% Petit Verdot

    The beginning of the growth cycle was a tricky period due to a rather warm, very wet spring. The team had to be particularly vigilant in order to protect the vines.
    Fine, stable weather returned in June and continued throughout the summer. In fact conditions became drought like, interspersed in July, August and September with welcome periods of light rain. Plenty of sunshine, with temperatures that were high without becoming scorching, and fairly cool nights enabled slow ripening that pushed the start of the harvests back to the end of September. Exceptionally favourable weather conditions, crowned by harvests in the sun, made for a vintage that was certain to be outstanding.

    Tasting note (at bottling):

    Superb lively bouquet. The palate gradually takes shape, full-bodied and generous at first, then presenting ripe tannins, well-developed structure and a very fruity finish.

  • Vintage 2008

    • 51% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 45% Merlot
    • 3% Petit Verdot
    • 1% Cabernet Franc

    The growing season was closely monitored, coming after a severe winter and some spring frost. Flowering was not very productive, constant humidity favoured disease and the summer was moderately warm. Fortunately, September was fine and so it was possible to wait for the grapes to fully ripen, with late harvests.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Wonderful dense, shiny colour.
    Expressive nose of red fruit with pleasant smoky notes.
    On the palate, a clean, precise attack; the wine then becomes denser and lengthens in the mid palate. Very well-balanced and somewhat lively, with a silky finish.

  • Vintage 2007

    • 49% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 44% Merlot
    • 5% Cabernet Franc
    • 2% Petit Verdot

    Plentiful rain during the winter replenished the groundwater levels; the end of the cold damp winter was marked by very early bud break. The temperatures in March and April were quite high, which was good for growth. From then until August the weather was grey and mild, without extremes. Luckily from the beginning of September the weather was fine and stable which enabled the grapes to ripen in peace. Complete ripening for the sugars, tannins and skins was only achieved 125 days after flowering – a longer than usual growth season in a year with 13 lunar cycles.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Fruit and freshness from the Cabernet on the nose and initially on the palate. Good length.
    A pleasant wine with rather tight tannins on the finish at the time of tasting (June 2009).

  • Vintage 2006

    • 48% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 48% Merlot
    • 2,5% Cabernet Franc
    • 1.5% Petit Verdot

    After a cold, wet winter, there was a fine spring and summer that led to the grapes changing colour early and reaching an excellent degree of ripeness. However, the rain in mid-September disturbed the harvests.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Beautiful deep colour. Lovely fruity nose. Powerful palate, well-rounded, with a very good tannic finish (before fining) and well-integrated woody notes.

  • Vintage 2005

    • 48% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 45% Merlot
    • 5% Cabernet Franc
    • 2% Petit Verdot

    2005 was the fourth consecutive year to have a deficit in rainfall, but the drought began very early, at the end of May, which allowed the vines to adapt by reducing their leaf area. The very hot weather in June and July gave way to progressively cooler weather in August and the cool nights allowed good acidity levels to be maintained, resulting in slow steady ripening.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    A year of atypical weather but in the end ideal for the production of healthy, very ripe grapes with wonderful freshness. Complex, slightly exotic nose. Fairly full-bodied, rounded and fleshy on the palate. Long finish with a touch of liveliness.

  • Vintage 2004

    • 48% Cabernet Sauvignon 
    • 47% Merlot 
    • 4% Cabernet Franc 
    • 1% Petit Verdot

    After a rainy winter and a cold spring, June and July were dry and warm. August was mild and in September the weather was good without being very warm, which led to slow ripening and the harvest dates being pushed back to the end of September. Patience was needed to wait for the grapes to become perfectly ripe.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Slightly heady, chocolatey, ripe bouquet. Not much fruit. Initially rich palate then becoming closed. Fruity, slightly severe finish.

  • Vintage 2003

    • 50% Merlot
    • 48% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 2% Cabernet Franc

    This vintage was affected by the excessive heat during the first fortnight of August. Temperatures were truly exceptional (above 40°C) and there was little rain  throughout the growth cycle.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    The wine is very fresh, succulent and well-balanced. The tannins are more supple than the 2002; full-bodied structure with good length.

  • Vintage 2002

    • 51% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 46% Merlot
    • 2% Petit Verdot
    • 1% Cabernet Franc

    The early bud break due to a hot, dry winter was followed by a rather cold and rainy period during flowering which led to coulure (flower abortion) and millerandage (poor fertilization with mixed size berries). From the beginning of June, the yield was expected to be low. The rather cool July and August brought the same unexceptional weather as the preceding months. However, September was superb, sunny and dry with a north-east wind which accelerated the ripening process. A radiant sun shone throughout the harvests, which allowed the grapes to fully ripen without any problems.
    The Merlot was picked between 26 September and 1 October, followed by some superb Cabernet Franc, then the Cabernet Sauvignon through to 8 October and finally the Petit Verdot.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Expressive and dense on the nose, this is an elegant wine with great finesse and length with firm, dense tannins.

  • Vintage 2001

    • 50.5% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 42% Merlot
    • 6% Cabernet Franc
    • 1.5% Petit Verdot

    2001 had a longer than usual growing season, with flowering taking place during the normal period, but with late, uneven ripening. Great patience was required during the harvests! The first Merlot was harvested on 28 September, and then after a short pause, the harvests continued on 1 October and finished on the 11th.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Very open on the nose. On the palate the expression is confirmed – elegant with integrated tannins. The finish is pleasant with very good length.

  • Vintage 2000

    • 51.5% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 42% Merlot
    • 5% Cabernet Franc
    • 1.5% Petit Verdot

    The weather was excellent in many respects: early blossoming, a combination of above average temperatures and normal rainfall, followed by a harvest in the sun. The result is an exceptional vintage, with deep, dark colour. 

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Intense bouquet with black fruit and liquorice; supple, full-bodied, fruity palate, with tight tannins and a fine long finish.

  • Vintage 1999

    • 69% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 31% Merlot

    Another early year which required heightened technical surveillance throughout the growth cycle. The harvests were conducted quickly at the end of September, partly in the rain. But good weather in August and early September had already ensured success for this vintage. 

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    The result is a vintage with good expression and fine aromatic intensity with red fruit. The palate is supple and long, with silky, elegant tannins.

  • Vintage 1998

    • 61% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 33% Merlot
    • 4.5% Cabernet Franc
    • 1.5% Petit Verdot

    A rainy harvest made us fear the worst after optimal conditions for an early start to the growth cycle, flowering and good temperatures during the summer. But ultimately the grapes were not affected by the rain, which fortunately came very late in the season. 

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Dark colour, expressive, woody bouquet. The attack is powerful,  the palate is then fruity and well-balanced, with a good long finish.

  • Vintage 1997

    • 63% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 30% Merlot
    • 6% Cabernet Franc
    • 1% Petit Verdot

    The early, sunny harvests allowed us to monitor the health of the grapes, which had been affected by a somewhat rainy summer, after a very good spring.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    The result is a vintage with an expressive bouquet and attack on the palate. The structure is powerful and firm with pleasant tannins.