Chateau Lafite 1996 wine with 'big impact' stars in Sotheby's $2.2m sale

Following recent wine auction successes in the East and, earlier this week, Geneva, Sotheby's headed back to London for its $2,201,040 (£1,384,876) auction last night (November 17).

Not for the first time, the sale's starring lot was a favourite of Robert Parker's: the Château Lafite 1996. Twelve bottles sold as a single lot, repacked into its original wooden case according to Sotheby's lot notes.

Another fan of the vintage is Serena Sutcliffe MW, Worldwide Head of Wine at Sotheby's. "Every single time I taste this wine, I am aware of its greatness - power, class, nobility and yet with the utter finesse of Lafite," she writes in her tasting notes.

"Dense and thick with damson flavours, I have always thought it eternal. At 13 years old, the bouquet was all deep aromatic intensity and spiciness. Terrific Cabernet Sauvignon depth and concentration on the palate.

"'Grand vin' of the first order. I do not find the mint now, replaced by black cassis, dimension and, finally, attack, proving that it has a long way to go - not that I would turn it down now.....It is truly a knock-out... [A] big impact wine."

Chateau Lafite 1996
The Château Lafite 1996 is more collectible stored in its original wooden case

Meanwhile, Robert Parker awarded the wine his full 100 points - which, if past auctions of Parker's other 100/100 wines are anything to go by, guarantees their quality as stars on the world's top auction blocks.

While the lot of 1996 Château Lafite 1996 is especially covetable when stored in its original wooden case, case stamped 'Grand Cru', it could also prove an idea wine for the festive period...

Serena Sutcliffe also notes, from her tasting at a 2009 dinner in Hong Kong, that the wine has "a glorious spicy nose, like the smell of Christmas pudding cooking! Huge black cherries and liquorice taste. Perfect composition, bursting with fruit and health."

The Lafite '96 would certainly be one heck of a Christmas present... It is also fitting that Ms Sutcliffe tasted the wine in Hong Kong. At the moment, Lafite - especially the 2008 vintage - is proving to be by-far the most popular wine in Asia's growing wine markets.


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