All wines showed the upper crust of Lafite. The signature of its style is aristocratic elegance and not the power that one might expect from the top Pauillac.
Refined classic bouquet of Lafite is all about graphite and pencil shavings, whole universe of dark forest berries, cedar and full humidor of expensive cigars.
Below is the captured difference of vintage variation and bottle condition.
1958 (🏅NR) Unclear & hazy. Tired wine. Wet cellar almost Xeres with underlying and fading fruit. Blame poor provenance.
Kicked of with 1978 (🏅97) Stunning wine! Wild blueberry, velvety tannins, good acidity. Sensed touch of iron though. Won’t develop more as it sits on peak maturity plateau.
1981 (🏅94) My vintage, but not the best of Lafite. Underscoring on the nose, but catching up on the palate.
1983 (🏅95) Showing better than ’81, medium body. Classic. Definitely at its peak and might even gain a bit more tertiary complexity within a few years
1987 (🏅94) Aroma is magical and promising, but palate is not on par with the nose, loosing it in complexity. It could have been an extraordinary wine if had the palate of ‘81.
1988 (🏅98) The wine of the night. Both power and the grace of Lafite. It leaves no doubts that it’s the First Growth emblematic wine. Ideal bottle condition. Wine must be in its glory for decades.
1992 (🏅97) Violets, roses. Already shining, but has so much untapped potential.
1994 (🏅96) Unusual Napa Lafite. Oak vanilla, coconut, medicinal. More in a primary and secondary stage. Wait till integrates the oak properly.
Lafite needs a minimum of 30+ years to unlock its potential. 70s are at beautiful drink now stage. 80s from the lesser vintages reached its maximum. Best 80s are fantastic but will improve. Wait with 90s unless you have a case.