2010 Chateau Raymond-Lafon
Chateau Raymond-Lafon – Sauternes
RELEASED 17th May 2011 – £292/case bottles or £308/case half bottles
Bill Blatch: Always a difficult wine to assess early, but now after 7 months in barrel, this is down to 10 lots and settling down, turning into a rich, quite thick but also very finely-tuned Sauternes. In addition to the weight and fullness, it has fine-grained structure and tightness. This is “the real stuff”!
Decanter: 17.5/20 – Magnificent generous texture, more oakiness for the moment than in many other samples from neighbours, lots of potential, perfect botrytis character. An exemplary made wine – once again. Drink 2020-2040.
Neal Martin: 92-94/100 – The Chateau Raymond-Lafon has a reticent nose at first that finds its voice after a few swirls of the glass, offering dried mango, almond and a touch of quince, all with fine delineation and intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with good acidity and tension, the minerality really coming through towards the beautifully composed finish. This is a very accomplished Raymond-Lafon that will repay cellaring.
Jancis Robinson: 17/20 – Drink 2017-2035. Deep gold. ‘Let it warm a little bit because it’s at 10 rather than 12 at the moment’, say the serving team. Lovely excitement on the nose. There is so much botrytis and richness here. Golden syrup and perhaps a tad lack of acidity. Round and gingery and lilies. Maybe very slightly over the top but no-one could accuse this of being too fresh and lean! Wonderful unctuousness – though taken to the limits of ripeness. As I say, I’d like just a little more acidity. Great richness on the nose. Residual Sugar 139 g/l, Total Acidity 3.9, Alcohol13.7%.
Panos Kakaviatos: 92-94/100 – Tasted on 2 April at the chateau, this is a great Sauternes that belongs in the Grand Cru Union, and deserves premier cru status. The 2010 does not disappoint. Only three pickings were required, with such homogenous development of botrytis that no second wine will be made in 2010. Mid October rain got the botrtyis going. Until then it had been too dry for the noble rot to develop. It is very difficult to judge such a young Sauternes but overall I noted both freshness and richness, fine sap, and a mixture of attractive aromas and flavors including botrytis derived white pepper. Good fruit, including pineapple and peach with a hint of vanilla caramel.
Rene Gabriel: 18/20