The 2009 Lafon-Rochet is an abomination

I hate modern Bordeaux. But this may take the cake for worst I’ve had. If you had poured this blind for me and said it was one of those new Cabernets aged in used Bourbon barrels I wouldn’t have batted an eye. Classified growth Bordeaux from a ‘top’ vintage? They should be embarrassed. Nothing redeeming about this whatsoever.

  • 2009 Château Lafon-Rochet - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe (5/20/2022)
    This wine pours medium purple in the glass. The nose smells of bourbon: alcohol, vanilla, iron, and vague prunes. The palate is astringent, dominated by wood tannin and alcohol. 14% on the label. One of the most awful Bordeaux I’ve ever had. (75 pts.)
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Have not had recent wines from this Chateau, but certainly liked their stuff in the 80s and 90s.

Me too. Sad.

Well if you had it on Friday, that was a cutover day from a Root Day to a Flower Day, so that user error could have been the cause for the underwhelmingness.

“Please consume our biodynamique wines in harmony with lunar cycles, preferably while wearing bright yellow clothing” - Basile


I’ve always liked this estate as a medium style good value Bordeaux.

Almost none of the other CT notes align with how Chris V perceived the 09, but I give him credit for his honest report. I don’t have any 09 (of hardly any producers), but I’m almost curious to try one and see what I’d think.

I’ve only had experience with one or two vintages from the '90s, but they have been hard as nails and not that charming. Sounds like they’ve headed in a completely different direction which I also probably won’t like, but I didn’t have any particular affinity for their old style either.

Have you two tasted any other recent vintages from this winery. I have not but have read good things about the 2016 and 2019. It may be the vintage rather than the winery that is the problem with this wine. I have not had this wine, but have really not liked a lot of 2009s I have tasted. I have found too many 2009s to have fruit that tastes stewed and overripe - prunes (a term Chris used) is not a bad description. For me, one specific wine that has gotten very high ratings where I found this to be true was Leoville Poyferre. Others love the vintage, but I generally avoid it like the plague, unless I have tasted the specific wine at issue.

I have a number of 14s from Lafon Rochet. While they’re almost certainly not into peak drinking window yet, it might be a good experiment to see how the wine looks from a more classic vintage.

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Not encouraging given I have an unopened case of this… Vinous critics put this in low 90’s - how do you typically align to their notes?


Vinous? I suppose that depends on which critic. I like Neal Martin a lot, but occasionally he seems to give good scores to hyper modern wines which doesn’t align well with me at all.

I drank the 2010 late last year and felt it needed a few more years. Wouldn’t be surprised if the same is true of the 2009. That said, in my limited experience, every 2009 I’ve drank over the last three years has either disappointed or seemed like it needed more time… The 2010’s have been better but have seemed even less developed and seem like they’ll need significantly more age.

I’m more of a dilettante than an expert, but I’ve been avoiding 2009 purchases based on my limited experience. I’m holding four mixed cases of each of the 2014-2020 Bordeaux vintages in the cellar, so I’m spot-buying 2011 or 2012 for nearer-term enjoyment while I wait (and hope!) on the rest.

When I see 2001-2008 at a reasonable price, I pursue those too… but they don’t last long once I buy them.