1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild | A Year of Seminal Importance

Isobel SalterWinesLeave a Comment

1982 was monumental for Bordeaux. It was a turning point for modern winemaking,  style and marketing. Not just a great year, but a historic one.

It was also the vintage that launched Robert Parker as the most influential wine critic in the world for decades. His journal, The Wine Advocate became the first to accurately predict the high quality of the 1982 vintage. In turn, this helped put Bordeaux back on top in the wine world, at a time when California was beginning to cement its reputation as a top producer of fine wine. Parker led a resurgence of adoration for the finest wines of Bordeaux, Lafite included.

Parkers praise for the 1982s in barrel unleashed extraordinary demand for the vintage. Which only increased after consumers had the chance to try them. It has been noted as the vintage which made many American collectors fall in love with Bordeaux.

From the beginning of what can described as the estates modern era, The 1982 Lafite Rothschild is considered to be one of the finest ever releases from this illustrious Pauillac first growth. And one of the legendary by-products of the revered 1982 vintage.

“The 1982 Lafite possesses a dark, dense ruby/purple colour with only a subtle lightening at the rim. Spectacular aromatics offer jammy cherry and black fruits intertwined with lead pencil, mineral, and smoky wood scents. Powerful for a Lafite, this wine unfolds to reveal extraordinary richness, purity, and overall symmetry in addition to stunning flavour depth and persistence. The finish lasts for nearly a minute. Plenty of tannin remains, and the wine displays a vibrancy and youthfulness that belie its 18 years of age. The modern day equivalent of Lafite-Rothschild’s immortal 1959, the 1982 will enjoy another 30-70 years of life! An amazing achievement! Anticipated maturity: 2007-2070.”

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 100/100 (tasted 2000)



It opens with an alluring nose of black fruits, cedar, forest floor, cigar, truffle and crushed minerals. Full-bodied yet brilliantly elegant, it is impeccably balanced and exceptionally long. A remarkable wine that shows no signs of ever diminishing such is its depth and vigour. An exemplary vintage.


The 1982 vintage for Bordeaux was, and still is, considered to be a legendary vintage.

The growing season was idyllic, with both budburst and flowering occurring under perfect conditions. The glorious Indian summer which took place in September elevated the vintage. With heat spikes later in the days serving to ripen Merlot. A touch of rain also led to ideal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

The wines were stunning with rich, ripe fruit. They display opulence, elegant tannins and the complexity needed for long-term ageing. It was overall extraordinary, and most are drinking very well now. With the finest examples still continuing to develop.


When Baron James de Rothschild acquired Lafite in 1868, the Chateau and its wines already had a long established history. First noted as a wine producer in the 13th Century, the Chateau went on to earn the status of Premier Grand Cru Classe in the 1855 Bordeaux classification. One of only 5 estates to achieve this.

Following Rothschild’s acquisition of Lafite, generations of this family have stewarded the Chateau through turbulence and accomplishment. From the phylloxera crisis, to the Great Depression, and times of war, Lafite has continued to tell the story of each year through their vintages which offer up their own inimitable testament to the natural world.

Lafite has been a consistent producer of the worlds finest, red wine. A bottle of 1869 Lafite Rothschild holds the record for the most expensive bottle of wine sold at auction, for $233,973.00 in 2010.

Located in Pauillac, Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of the largest vineyards in the Medoc. It is a result of a rare harmony of nature. On the plateau of Lafite’s mythical gravel, the men and women who work in the vineyards are the ones who pass on wine-growing traditions. The most crucial aspect in creating these wines is the precision and resilience involved at all levels of winemaking.

Today, the family remains at the helm of the business, ensuring that their vintners, their vines and their wines, continue to thrive for generations to come. Part of the sixth generation, Saskia de Rothschild brings the family’s longstanding commitment to sustainability to the fore.

The ’82 Lafite leaves a beautiful legacy. It would take pride of place in any serious collectors cellar. 

£2,340.00 inc. VAT (1 x 75cl)

Link to view the 1982 Lafite Rothschild


Isobel Salter1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild | A Year of Seminal Importance

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