- 84% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 15% Merlot
- 1% Petit Verdot
Plentiful rain during the winter replenished the groundwater levels; the end of the cold damp winter was marked by a very early bud break. Temperatures in March and April were quite high, which was good for growth. From then until August the weather was grey and mild, without extremes. Luckily from the beginning of September the weather was fine and stable, which enabled the grapes to ripen in peace. Complete ripening for the sugars, tannins and skins was only reached 125 days after flowering – a longer than usual growth season in a year with 13 lunar cycles.
- 86% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 9% Merlot
- 3% Cabernet Franc
- 2% Petit Verdot
2003 will always be a memorable vintage due to the heatwave in the Bordeaux region and in the country generally. A two-week period spell of scorching heat suddenly arrived in August, with temperatures rising above 40°C. Rainfall was very low throughout the vines’ cycle (555 mm between October 2002 and September 2003, compared to an average of 850 mm) but the soil remained relatively cool and the vines did not suffer from a lack of water.Our work in the vineyard had to be adapted to deal with these exceptional conditions. Leaf removal operations were thus reduced in order to protect the vines from the scalding effect of the heat.Fortunately, water reserves in the soil and more moderate temperatures from the start of September enabled the ripening process to be completed. weather in 2003 saw an exceptional heat wave in the first half of August with temperatures exceeding 40°C, together with low rainfall throughout the growth cycle.
- 82.5% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 17% Merlot
- 0.5% Petit Verdot
The beginning of the growth cycle was a tricky period due to a rather warm, very wet spring. The teams had to be particularly vigilant in order to protect the vines. Fine, stable weather returned in June and continued throughout the summer. In fact conditions became drought like, interspersed in July, August and September with welcome periods of light rain. Plenty of sunshine, with temperatures that were high without becoming scorching, and fairly cool nights enabled slow ripening that pushed the start of the harvests back to the end of September. Exceptionally favourable weather conditions, crowned by harvests in the sun, made for a vintage that was certain to be outstanding.
- 87% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 13% Merlot
The vineyard cycle began with a cold, relatively wet winter, resulting in a slightly later bud break than in 2009, in mid-April. Growth was then boosted by dry, sunny weather for the rest of the month. May and June were characterized by alternating periods of rain and sunshine. June began with a cold spell that complicated the flowering of the Merlot, resulting in flower abortion and uneven grape size.Fortunately, July was very dry (less than 20 mm of rain) with relatively high temperatures, which helped the vines to catch up from the delayed flowering. August and September were very dry, with beautiful daytime temperatures and cool nights creating ideal conditions for the grapes to slowly reach optimal ripeness.
- 74% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 18.5% Merlot
- 6% Cabernet Franc
- 1.5% Petit Verdot
The winter was mild, as has been the case for most of the decade, followed by a fine spring and early flowering. From July until mid-August, humid days with partly sunny skies raised the threat of rot and botrytis, which can come on quickly and ravage the vines. Fortunately, the weather was scorching hot from 15 August until the harvests. These were conducted in record time in rainy weather. This was a gamble: we needed to harvest ripe grapes in the minimum amount of time. This vintage was made with four grape varieties, which is rare, but also happened in 1996 (Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are rarely used together in the Grand Vin).
- 91% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 9% Merlot
A recurring phenomenon in recent years, the beginning of the winter was mild and dry, and it was only at the end of January that beneficial colder temperatures arrived, accompanied by rain. Bud break began in early April as usual, and the vines then grew quickly, as they had ample reserves of water and the weather was mild. In June, flowering was early and uniform, which is always a promising sign.
The influence of the Atlantic ocean and the Gironde estuary helped to reduce the effect of a somewhat hot summer with high temperatures. Water stress was high, but rain in August brought the freshness required for the grapes to change colour and then to ripen perfectly. Conditions were ideal during the harvests, enabling us to obtain optimal ripeness for each plot.
- Cabernet Sauvignon 97%
- Merlot 2,5%
- Petit Verdot 0,5%
After a rather mild winter, there were two nights of severe frost in the spring, on 26 and 27 April, which inflicted major damage on Bordeaux’s vineyards. Miraculously, Lafite emerged unscathed.
Conditions then became excellent, with higher than usual temperatures and balanced, well-spaced rainfall. Flowering was early, and by mid-June the fruit had set almost two weeks earlier than usual. After some quite heavy rain at the end of June, temperatures remained slightly below average for the rest of the summer. This enabled a slow, steady ripening of the grapes from “mi-véraison” (the middle of the period when the grapes change colour) to mid-September when the harvests began. A final rainy spell from 10 to 20 September disrupted the otherwise perfect weather, without impacting the quality of the grapes. The wines confirmed great potential, revealing a fairly classic character.
- 87% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 9.5% Merlot
- 3.5% Cabernet Franc
The early bud break due to a warm, dry winter was followed by a rather cold, rainy period during flowering which led to coulure (flower abortion) and millerandage (poor fertilization with mixed size berries). From the beginning of June, the yield was expected to be low. The rather cool July and August brought the same unexceptional weather as the preceding months. However, this did not stop the grapes changing colour and slowly ripening.The weather was excellent as the harvests approached; September was superb, sunny and dry with a north-east wind which accelerated the ripening process.
- Cabernet Sauvignon 92%
- Merlot 8%
2016 was characterized in Bordeaux by a very uniform climate, resulting in a good quality vintage for the entire region. Bud break occurred around the normal time, although the spring was rather rainy and cold. June was particularly overcast and cool, but flowering nevertheless took place in good conditions. The summer was hot and very dry, almost too dry at the beginning of September, with ripening becoming hindered in some cases due to water stress. Lafite’s superb terroir was perfectly able to cope with these conditions, and we were able to wait without undue concern for the very welcome rain on 13 September. This created optimal conditions for the final ripening of the grapes, which were able to reach exceptional levels of maturity.
- 98% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2% Merlot
The very wet, cold winter resulted in work in the vineyard being considerably delayed; bud break was late, and flowering was three weeks later than the average for the last 50 years; the changeable weather resulted in some flower abortion and uneven grape size, and therefore in lower potential yields than usual. Then at the end of June, the weather suddenly changed, and it was if we were in the middle of the summer with no transitional period; there were however several localized storms (on 27 July and 2 August, depending on location).
The situation became somewhat challenging from 15 September: there was rain, sun and a long wait for the grapes to fully ripen, even though they had partially caught up from the late start; things then became more delicate at the end of September, when it became clear there was a risk of “explosive” growth of botrytis! It was like a race with no time to warm up, and we had to find all the pickers we could to go as quickly as possible. Fortunately, the sorting teams were very efficient despite the difficult harvest. The usual picking sequence for the red wine grapes had to be adjusted in order to minimize the impact of the botrytis and to take into account the potential to make the first or second wine.
- 91% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 8,5% Merlot
- 0,5% Petit Verdot
2012 was characterized by difficult weather conditions in the Bordeaux region.After a relatively mild winter, the spring was mostly wet and rainy, especially April, with a hail storm on the 24th. Such conditions hampered fertilization, leading to fears of reduced yields. Work in the vineyard was as vital as ever.June and July alternated heat and humidity. The weather became more stable from the beginning of August, enabling the healthy grapes to finish ripening in good conditions.Nevertheless, there was considerable variation in their degrees of ripeness and a great deal of sorting work was carried out by our teams from the end September.
- 87% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 10% Merlot
- 3% Cabernet Franc
Significant rainfall from November to February restored groundwater reserves, which had already been substantially replenished by average or higher than average rain in 2012 and 2013.
Temperatures remained above normal and the vines missed the hearty winter frosts; what we really wanted were about two weeks of crisp mornings with beautiful sunshine, dry cold and no wind. But you cannot control nature! Bud break was early, followed by uniform flowering during the first week of June, spurred on by a rise in temperatures.
As always, the impact of the weather on the vineyard was our primary concern, and our teams worked throughout the year to ensure that the grapes reach maturity in perfect health. The onset of ripening occurred over two periods, first in late July and then again after 15 August, creating differences in the ripeness of the bunches on the same vine.
Some “juggling” was therefore necessary when it came to the harvests, in order to make the best choices; the pickers and sorters were under strict orders to only keep the very best quality red grapes, suited to the production our Pauillac grand vins.
- 80% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 20% Merlot
The weather conditions for the 2011 vintage were unusual and required all of our technical teams’ vigilance and expertise.This was a very early vintage, with an exceptionally hot spring, low rainfall at the beginning of the year, but then more in the summer, and a persistent threat of powdery mildew (a vine disease that is usually quite rare in the Bordeaux region). Finally, just as we were getting ready to harvest, a huge hail storm in the north of Pauillac and Saint Estèphe on 1 September obliged us to reorganize the picking schedule. The plots that had been affected had to be picked first; fortunately, as a result of the conditions, the grapes had ripened early, and quality was not compromised.