Lafon-Rochet has long been one of our favourite wines of the northern Medoc and undoubtedly one of its best values. Owned by the Tesseron family since 1959, the charming Basile Tesseron has been in charge since 2007. 2015 saw the completion of a fantastic new winery designed by the same team as Cheval Blanc’s. The Cabernet is now vinified in beautiful concrete vats and the last two vintages have really seen a big step up in quality. Since 2012, Jean-Claude Berrouet has been the consultant, best known for his work at Petrus. Although not certified, farming is a mix of organic and biodynamic. We were delighted to join Basile and his wife for a kitchen lunch and bottles of his 2005 and 1985 on our recent visit – or we were until a customer of ours joined him and was served the 1955 from magnum. This is a wine that drinks well young but ages beautifully. Don’t miss it.
91-93 points, Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018 93 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com, April 2018 16.5 points, Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2018 85-87 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, robertparker.com, April 2018
The 2017 Lafon-Rochet has matured in 50% new oak and the remainder in one-year old. I have to say, the bouquet is very expressive with plenty of blackberry, wild hedgerow, oyster shell and pressed flower that blossom in the glass. It is very well defined and more sophisticated than I have detected in recent vintages. Perhaps this is the first vintage where the new winery, replete with concrete vats, has really played a serious role in meliorating quality. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, quite saline in the mouth with just a hint of black olive. There is a slightly grainy texture with a sustained peppery finish, completing a crisp and vivacious Lafon-Rochet that should please many wine-lovers. Expect this to land at the top of my banded score. 91-93 points
This is a lovely St-Estèphe this year, firm and bright with bristling fruit right out of the gate - hugely unusual to see that this year. This is one of my favourites, and is totally charming with its cassis and damson fruit, but it`s the juice and friendly tension that sets it apart. Silky and enjoyable. Buy. 93 points
Tangy, almost salty, nose. Smooth, layered, very fine texture. Not hugely fruity but balanced with a long, elegant aftertaste following a relatively light mid palate. Longer than it is deep but attractive. 16.5 points
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Lafon-Rochet gives up subtle cassis and black cherry notes with hints of sautéed herbs, damp soil and pencil lead. Medium-bodied and slightly thin in the mouth, it has a well-played chewy texture and nice freshness, finishing with an herbal lift. 85-87 points