Classic Lafite elegance; lean but vibrant, with cherry, herb and chocolate flavors layered with hints of earth and tobacco.
This wine has a phenomenal reputation. However, I have now tasted the wine on eight separate occasions where I found it to be shockingly light, too acidic, disturbingly austere, and surprisingly ungenerous for a 1961. Moreover, recent tastings have suggested that the wine was clearly drying out. The color is light ruby with a brownish cast. The wine does have the penetrating ``cigar box'' Lafite bouquet, yet it seems shy, given the legendary status of this wine. Lacking the weight, concentration, and majesty of the great 1961s, this is a wine about which far too many writers have euphemistically said that it ``needed time,'' was ``elegant,'' or ``not properly understood,'' when they should have used the words overrated and disappointing. In the context of the vintage and the estate of Lafite-Rothschild, it represents an indifferent winemaking effort.