Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru Classe Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte – Vintages 2007, 2009

SMITH HAUT LAFITTE RED 2007

Yield : 33 hl/ha, before selection of Smith Haut Lafitte, les Hauts de Smith, les Hauts de Maujan and rosé Grape varieties : 60 % cabernet sauvignon / 31 % merlot / 8 % cabernet franc / 1% petit verdot The grapes were fermented whole in wooden vats with periodic pigeage (punching down): 28-30° C Ageing for 18 months in oak barrels (80% new oak, from our integrated cooperage) on the lees with one single racking, and then aged lot by lot.
Age des vignes : 38 ans

The Wine Advocate (Robert Parker) – 90-92
The Wine Spectator (James Suckling)

Fresh mushroom, berry and currant on the nose and palate. Medium body, good tannins and plenty of fruit for the vintage. Score range: 88-92

Jancis Robinson Drink 2012-16 – 16/20 / 2015-2023 – 17/20

Purple with a pale rim. Lightweight nose but everything in balance with nice frank fruit and the tannins are supple and fine. Lively and in the flirtatious, easy idiom of the vintage. Easy and breezy. Not especially ambitious but a good drink. Congratulations are in order on not fighting the vintage character.
Decanter (Beverley Blanning): Deep purple-red. Sweet cassis and oak nose. Well-structured palate with refreshing acidity. Brisk, fine-grained tannins. Lovely cassis fruit palate. Mineral, stony finish. For the longer term.

The Wine Journal (Neal Martin) – 90-92

This has a very upfront nose black cherries, Doris plum but here infused with a little cedar and there in the background a touch of mango sorbet. Medium-bodied, very fine tannins and focus – this is Smith Haut Lafitte showing its refined nature with just a touch of tar on the finish.

Weinwisser (René Gabriel) – 18/20
International Wine Cellar (Steve Tanzer) – 89-91

Medium ruby-red. Black raspberry, smoky dark chocolate and a whiff of game on the nose. Suave, sweet and consistent, in a rather gentle style for this chateau. Plenty of fruit here, lifted by understated minerality. Finishes with ripe, fine tannins and subtle persistence. Not a powerful wine but very successful for the year.

SMITH HAUT LAFITTE WHITE 2009

Grape varieties : 90 % sauvignon blanc / 5 % sauvignon gris / 5 % sémillon
Average age of vines : 38 ans
Yield : 30 hl/ha, before production is divided into 2 wines: Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Les Hauts de Smith

The grapes are pressed in an oxygen-free environment in order to retain full aromatic potential.
Fermentation in barrel: 50% new barrels from our integrated cooperage, and 50% barrels used for one previous vintage.

Ageing in barrel with regular bâtonnage (lees stirring) for 12 months.
The 2009 growing season benefited from beautiful summer and autumn weather (warm and sunny in the daytime, cool at night) conducive to good vine development and, later on, ripening. Accumulated temperatures were similar to 2005 and the water balance resembled 2000… In short, weather conditions were very favourable to making great wine.

Our non-interventionist approach to viticulture, maintaining shadow above the fruit by removing unproductive side shoots proved its efficiency in a year such as this by protecting the fruit from excessive heat while ensuring good ventilation and healthy ripening. The grapes were picked in excellent condition: ripe, aromatic, and complex.

The white wine harvest began with Sauvignon Blanc on 7 September. Sugar levels were good (13.5% potential alcohol) as was acidity (pH of 3.3). We picked the grapes in several passes, helped in part by satellite photos that gave us a very useful overview of ripening patterns: The harvest is now even more finely-tuned. We only harvested in the morning because the cool temperatures helped to retain our white wine grapes’ full aromatic potential. The harvest came to an end on 23 September 2009 with the picking of beautiful Sémillon grapes.

2009 Smith Haut Lafitte blanc has an attractive brilliant yellow colour. The nose is quite delicate with floral overtones. Its full aromatic potential is released with aeration, revealing hints of yellow fruit (vineyard peaches, apricot), flowers (honeysuckle, broom flowers), and a touch of flint.
The wine starts out straightforward on the palate, filling out to become rich and powerful (this is undoubtedly a food wine). The aftertaste is delightfully flavoursome, with yellow fruit (mango, apricot, and candied pineapple), sweet spice, and gunflint. The finish is quite long and delicious, and the wine is altogether rich and savoury.

Robert Parker 98

Smith-Haut-Lafitte hit a home run with their red Pessac-Leognan and came very close to perfection with their dry white Graves. Possibly the best dry white the estate has produced since the proprietors, the Cathiards, acquired the property in 1990, this wine exhibits a sensational fragrance of buttered citrus, honeyed melons and a touch of grapefruit, lemon zest and orange rind. It also displays grapefruit on theattack and mid-palate as well as real opulence, terrific acidity and length. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. Astonishing!

Source: