2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

There is a remaining first growth I have yet put in my mouth -> Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Lafite, the most famous wine in China (or probably in the world) has broken record again, again and again for its price, due to the tremendous demand.

Lafite, the no1 first growth out of 4 in 1855 Bordeaux Classification (the last first growth, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was elevated in 1973) and to the status and quality, it is one of the most expensive red wines in the world. A Lafite in normal vintage would cost too much 2yrs ago, at about S$600 per bottle. However, every single bottle of Lafite, be it weak vintage or fark-up vintage, is at least S$1000 per bottle now which mean, I will not see any Lafite in my cellar and perhaps, in my stomach.

But hey, thanks to my buddy that I have had a sip of Lafite, at last! Still young for sure, tight, unyielding but it is so finely crafted, everything is so balance and elegance without sacrifice the scale and depth that slowly build on the palate and if you don’t pay attention, you will miss the detail and pleasure. To me, an intellectual wine.

Tasting Note ::

2002 Château Lafite Rothschild (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

  • Alcohol :: 12.5%
    Opened for 2hrs. As expect, both nose and palate is tight and possibly close to shut down stage. Focus, deep aromas of pencil shaving, earth, ink, dark floral bouquet with underlying blackberry fruits. Medium bodied, pretty light entry that slowly build on weight on the mid palate, big scale, amazing depth and well definition. Quite acidic, but it is so lively and well-shaped acid spine with superb silky tannin that cover the underlying blackberry fruits. Impeccable balance, this is so refine and elegance though the wine is about to shut down with oak, tannin and acid dominant the flavor profile, I have no problem to swallow and appreciate the drinking pleasure and the accumulated impact on the mouth. Very persistent, detail finish that last very long with pencil leads and mineral aftertaste. Stunning 2002 and will be even better in another 5yrs. Buy – Not at current market price.
  • Alcohol :: 12.5%
    Day 2. This has become very expressive on the nose though still dominant by pencil shaving and ink, but the sweet dark fruits has surfaced along with crushed rock, roasted, earth and perfume floral tones, very deep and complex that suck me in it. Acidic, the palate is still not ready, but the superb fine texture, definition and detail is there and similar to yesterday, the elegance entry is culminated into really good depth and scale that leads to fine, silky fresh finish with trace of alcohol heat. Buy – Not at current market price.
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11 Responses to 2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

  1. Intellectual wine? I love it! When to buy then? I doubt its market price would go down in the future? Or just wait till your wallet is fatter? I believe you will see a Lafite in your cellar ONE DAY! Have Faith

  2. J-Sern says:

    Hi Dave,

    How long do you reckon you’d decant this for ? Or that of any other stellar vintage first growth (eg 03, 04) under 10 years of bottle age ?

    I suppose it’ll live past a day.



    • Dave Chan says:

      Yo J-Sern, how ya? What a nice meal you had during CNY! For the 2002 Lafite, I drank it after opened for 2hrs and it was tight. For any other stellar vintage, I wouldn’t touch them in at least 15yrs time (sadly, I don’t own any of them, just out of my reach)

      • J-Sern says:

        Hey David,

        Am doing good thanks, largely because the wine action hasn’t ceased ! Hope all’s well on your end too.

        The CNY dinner was needless to say, an outstanding gastronomic experience, not just with the wines but the rarity of the delicacies we had ! Quite a surreal pairing, which not many have experienced 🙂

        True for young first growths, it’d need a good three hour decanting at least to reach decent bottle opening, bottle maturing would see at minimal a decade down the road.

        I’ve just procured an 04 Margaux, 04 Mouton and 04 Cos d’Estournel with a close friend, that might be quite a night ahead !

        Give me an advance ringer when you’re back next, we’ll make it count.


      • Dave Chan says:

        Haha, I wish I was there!

        I will surely give you a call in advance if I go back, can’t wait to have another session with you guys soon ^^

  3. J-Sern says:


    We opened and drank a bottle of Lafite 2004 this past weekend.

    Decanted it around three hours and with high but justifiable expectations, the wine just seemed surprisingly muted throughout the period. Detected hints of the Pauillac expression but nowhere was it even close to the generosity of the Mouton 04 both on aroma and on the stretch of the palate, or even the Lalande 04 which I opened another bottle of to compare with the Lafite.

    It was undeniably young, though the tannins weren’t obtrusive but it just didn’t seem to yield whiffs of its potential either.

    Very surprising, and perhaps if I dare say, not a particularly pleasant experience with a first growth (furthermore considering its price !).


  4. Dave Chan says:


    You’re drinking very well, how i wish I was there too! Sad to know that the wine was muted hence can’t even detect the potential. That’s being said, we should really pop the 1st with some age, say, 10 or 15yrs at the very least.

    No worry, I believe you will be able to catch a really nice, expressive 1st in the near future.
    Any plan to visit SG?


    • J-Sern says:

      Hey Bro,

      When you’re back we surely will have the opportunity again not to worry ! Currently my oldest has been an 88 Haut Brion, and that was graceful. Am hoping to get an opportunity for an aged Mouton in the close future.

      This 04 Lafite was drinking a little poorer than some fifth growths I’ve had, what an untimely waste 😦

      No plans yet for SG, maybe end month July ? Will keep you posted if it works.

      Cheers, J-Sern

      • Dave Chan says:


        I have marked your word with thanks! Hehe. Once you had any Mature Bordeaux, any young (well, make it most) Bordeaux will not be able to deliver…..

        Sure thing, keep me posted for the plan!


  5. J-Sern says:

    Hey bro,

    Do you have a work/personal email I can get in touch with ?

    I’d like you to have a look at a list of Burgundies I have access to, and am looking for potential buyers which you have in Singapore. Ex-cellar France, you just might find it a little more than interesting.



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