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Smith Haut Lafitte

The Winery

Smith Haut-Lafitte

One can’t say enough about what proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard have accomplished at this estate since 1990. Regrettably, I am old enough to remember how horrible the wines were before the Cathiards purchased the property. They have fashioned one of the most consistently outstanding wines…
– Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

The Bosq family began growing grapes in Pessac-Léognan around 1365, and it was not until the 18th Century that Scotsman George Smith purchased the property and gave it its current name. In 1958 this left bank chateau was purchased by the Louis Eschenauer Company and the following year it was classified as Grand Cru Classé in the Classification of the Graves, giving it higher quality recognition than other estates in the region. In 1990, Daniel Cathiard and his wife, Florence, joined the list of renowned owners. Cathiard’s influence of modern winemaking technique combined with antiquated methods such as organic compost, small wooden vat fermentation, and ageing on the lees have allowed the winery’s tradition of excellence to be enhanced. It is a misconception that they are associated with the First Growth Château Lafite Rothschild, but Lafitte takes its name from the gravel plateau cultivated in 1365 with the same name. The house makes both red and white gran vin. Merlot is the dominant variety in their red blend while the white is Sauvignon Blanc focused, and both wines have been well-received by critics.

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Tasting Notes

The finest wine ever made by proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the 2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte exhibits an opaque blue/purple color in addition to a glorious nose of acacia flowers, licorice, charcoal, blueberries, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings and incense. This massive, extraordinarily rich, unctuously textured wine may be the most concentrated effort produced to date, although the 2000, 2005 and 2010 are nearly as prodigious. A gorgeous expression of Pessac-Leognan with sweet tannin, emerging charm and delicacy, and considerable power, depth, richness and authority, it should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. Bravo!
This is really loaded, with crushed plum, blueberry, cassis, fig and blackberry paste flavors all melded together, along with notes of tar, pastis and violet. Very long and dark, but polished and pure, with terrific fruit offset by a great tug of earth…

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