Wine Spectator 93 points - Solid, with bright cassis, fig and blackberry fruit studded with tobacco leaf, anise and violet. The long finish has a tarry thread, but stays polished and refined overall, with a whiff of sandalwood lingering gently. Best from 2014 through 2028. 25,000 cases made.-JM
(Mar 31 2013)
Vinous 87 points - (50% cabernet sauvignon, 42.5% merlot, 5.1% cabernet franc and 2.4% petit verdot) Deep ruby-purple. Highly perfumed, enticing nose offers spicy blackcurrant, violet and minerals. Fresh and sweet in the mouth, with almost syrupy blackberry, plum and saline flavors showing plenty of flesh without any undue heaviness. Nice floral persistence on the slightly simple, sweet, very accessible finish. Though the tannins are youthfully chewy, there is none of the astringency displayed by many merlot-rich 2010 wines. When I mentioned to technical director Charles Chevalier that I loved this wine’s dainty, smooth personality, he pointed out that most of the grapes used to make Carruades come from vines planted on soils with a higher percentage of clay, which partly explains why this merlot-rich wine doesn’t show astringent tannins.
87-90 Points (May 2011)
Wine Advocate 94 points - Another brilliant second wine, the 2010 Carruades de Lafite (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42.5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot) is elegant and amazing for a second wine from Lafite. “Carruades de Lafite” is now engraved in the bottle to prevent unscrupulous sommeliers and merchants from trying to pass it off as Lafite Rothschild. The wine displays much of the same lead pencil, charcoal and black currant notes of its bigger sister, although it is forward, precocious and far less structured than the grand vin. Nevertheless, this wine, which can be drunk now, will cellar beautifully for at least 20-25 more years. (Feb 2013)
Given the refined selection of fine wines after two decades, the Carruades feature characteristics similar to those of the fine wine, but with their own personality linked to a higher percentage of Merlot in its composition, and plots of land that are clearly identified as producing Carruades.
The origin of the name comes from the Carruades plateau, the name of a group of plots adjacent to the chateau’s best vineyards, purchased in 1845 by Château Lafite. In the 20th century, the Carruades were marketed separately from Château Lafite before being integrated. The name Carruades adopted as the name of Château Lafite Rothschild’s second wine, which was initially called "Moulin des Carruades” before 1980’s.