One of the world’s great reds and a consistent and superlative performer throughout the mid- to late 1990s. Exceptional wines have been produced since 1996. However, all has not always been rosy here and 20 or so years ago the quality was much more uneven. The vineyard is planted to some 100 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (a mere 1%). A minimum of 15–20 years is required to achieve a harmony between the formidable, powerful tannins and the intense and fragrantly rich cedar and cassis fruit. 1982 marked a real turning point in the quality of the wine and other years of particular note are 1986, 88, 90 and 96. The 53 and 59 were both superb but surprisingly 61 failed to achieve the high quality of that year. Latterly, 2000, 03, 05, 08, 09 and 10 have produced top quality but the chateau has been a model of consistency for the whole decade. The second wine, Les Carruades de Lafite-Rothschild, is very impressive for a second label.