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 vine to adapt itself by reducing its leaves. 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. A year of atypical weather but in the end ideal for the production of healthy, very ripe grapes with wonderful freshness.
Deep color. An intense, delicate, subtle and complex nose. Very neat and regular on the palate upon attack leading to volume and a nicely round structure. Immensely powerful, great length, density and elegance.
100 Points - Decanter
This stunning wine is still extremely young, with an amazingly expressive nose with tea leaf hints. The aromatics keep building and building in the glass, and the elegance and persistency shine through. This was a drought year, unusual because it was almost perfect from beginning to end with not a drop of rain from May to October. Temperatures were not hot like 2003, of course, so the ripening was slow and complete, with relatively small yields and relatively high alcohol. This is full of energy and the flavours just keep on going, while those tannis have really started to embrace the fruit and showcase their elegance. It's concentrated and luscious yet focussed and beautifully balanced - the perfect example of how they don't need excess to deliver something truly extraordinary in Bordeaux.
99 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Initially dense, almost black enough to be attacked with a knife. But then it becomes apparent that this is a beautifully integrated, balanced wine, bringing together power, with the hallmark Lafite style and poise. In the end, you have a wine that promises an impressive aging potential along with delicious black currant fruits, acidity and a layer of striking tannins.
98 Poitns - Wine Spectator
Delivers blackberry, dried porcini, tobacco and licorice aromas. Full-bodied, with layers of velvety tannins and loads of dark chocolate, cigar box, currant, berry and mineral. The finish is long, with a coffee, almost meaty, aftertaste. Very beautiful and balanced. Best after 2013.
98 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made in an ethereal style, the 2005 Lafite is composed of nearly 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, just under 11% Merlot, and a tiny fraction of Petit Verdot (representing only 40% of the total harvest). It is a deep, structured, linear style of Lafite Rothschild that is in total contrast to the opulence and extravagant richness of the 2003 and the bold, dramatic power of the 2000. The dense ruby/plum/purple-tinged 2005 offers up scents of graphite, flowers, crushed rocks, and loads of berry fruit. Medium-bodied and sweet with high tannin, it represents the quintessentially elegant style of Bordeaux. Another brilliant effort made under the auspices of administrator Charles Chevalier, it should be at its finest between 2015-2050+. 94-98 Points
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