Robert Parker 89
Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 1997 Lafite-Rothschild appears to be a wine that sparkled in its youth, but is not maturing with the grace and style of other vintages after almost 20 years. It has a well-defined bouquet with crushed strawberry, wet sand and light tobacco notes that gradually unfurl. I appreciate the precision here – typical Lafite-Rothschild. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, a little foursquare with some dryness towards the attenuated finish. It feels bound together by the fine thread of acidity, yet the long and short of it is that while its descent will be gradual, it will not repay continued bottle ageing. Tasted December 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027