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.
96 Points - James Suckling This is an extremely fine-grained Carraudes with a complex character of chocolate, walnut, cedar and a hint of graphite. Medium-to full-bodied, tight and chewy but, at the same time, agile and light. Savory finish. Special.
96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck The second wine of Lafite is the 2018 Carruades De Lafite (56.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc). This ruby/purple colored effort offers classic Lafite elegance and purity as well as lead pencil, red and black currants, and tobacco. Elegant, silky, ultra-fine and beautifully balanced, with ripe tannins, it's a smoking second wine that’s going to keep for 2-3 decades.
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast This is a ripe, juicy wine that's rich and generous in texture, with light touches of spice and fine tannins. It has both weight and freshness, giving a wine that is elegant and ripe.
94 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The 2018 Carruades de Lafite is composed of 56.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 5.5% Cabernet Franc. The Merlot was harvested September 17-24, the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested September 25 to October 5, and the Cabernet Franc was harvested September 24. Deep garnet-purple coloured, it reveals a very serious nose of pencil shavings, black tea, violets and dark chocolate with earthy wafts of underbrush and mossy bark over a core of warm cassis, blackberry preserves and black raspberries. Medium to full-bodied, the densely packed, black-fruited palate is laced with loads of compelling mineral sparks with a firm, grainy frame and beautiful freshness to lift the long, earthy finish.
93 Points - Decanter This has rich fruit notes with exotic spices, a silky texture and a seductive approachability that clearly translates the higher than usual amount of Merlot in the blend this year, as with Petit Mouton. It’s a wine that is bound to make a lot of people happy but also means that whereas Lafite is archetypal Lafite, this is perhaps a less classic Carruades. It still has the tannins of Pauillac, and as so often is the case this year the first time you taste feels easy then they steal up on you and start to layer but this is flexible and approachable, with a menthol finish. Carruades is continuing to benefit from the techniques brought to it under in-house R&D technician Manuela Brando which include honing vineyard mapping, detailing smaller plots and tracking vine vigour, all of which are particularly useful since Carruades' soils are less consistent than those of the main wine. 39% of production.
93 Points - Vinous The 2018 Carruades de Lafite was picked from September 17 until October 5. I prefer the bouquet to that of the 2017; it offers more fruit, more purity and perfume, and an almost floral style, touches of pressed violets infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and well-matched acidity. There is cohesion here, and disarming rondeur on the supple, lightly spiced finish. A dash of white pepper lingers on the aftertaste. Excellent.
17.5/20 Points - Jancis Robinson Dark core with narrow dark rim. Very ripe but not overripe black fruit. Rich and savoury at the same time, a really dark, elegant wine with good acidity. The tannins here are notable for their extreme finesse, dry, wonderful texture, with a hint of clean dry dark chocolate on the finish. Fabulous tannins. Juicy and so elegant at the same time. Light on its feet even with this concentration. High score is especially for the tannins.