The 2004 Lafite-Rothschild appears to be another late-bloomer in the sense that this 12-year-old bottle is the best I have tasted, implying an upward swing in quality. It has a wondrous bouquet, very sensual and pure with blackberry, graphite and cedar - all the hallmarks of Pauillac, delivered with great panache. It is more opulent than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied with silky tannins, pitch-perfect acidity and a beautiful structure. There is a regal sense to this Lafite, understated compared to the other First Growths and yet the persistence on the finish deserves a round of applause, especially in the context of the vintage. This is superb and could possibly turn out to be the pick of the Firsts.