Produced during a successful year for great Cabernets Sauvignons and Petits Verdots, the 2005 Lafite-Rothschild carries depth and intense chrome aspects. The nose is intense, delicate, subtle yet very complex, with rich fruit accents. The palate is very neat and somewhat direct from beginning (the attack) to end. One is literally taken by a torrent of sensations and the complexity of this wine. The mid-palate surges in power, increasingly showing thicker structure and texture, as well as stronger flavours. This Pauillac is a superior wine. The power of the finish precedes a lovely and remarkably thick length, along with a rare elegance. This 2005 Lafite-Rothschild is definitely a superior wine.
Having tasted the 2005 Château Lafite-Rothschild several times both blind and non-blind, it comes across as a First Growth politely requesting more time to settle. Here, from an ex-château bottle tasted in Bordeaux, it delivers that graphite, pencil-box bouquet that unfurls gradually in the glass, biding its time, graceful but not intense. Parallel to some of its fellow 2005s, it is developing a little more spice, namely thyme and sage, than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced, to wit, a sophisticated Pauillac that priorities elegance and poise over intensity of fruit--in keeping with Lafite Rothschild's style. You come away with the sense that it will take its time and decline, giving away a great deal in its primacy, even if it is still more approachable than the 2005 Latour for example. Therefore, I would be inclined to set this aside for several more years. Tasted November 2014.