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2020 Château Smith Haut Lafitte En Primeur

2020 Château Smith Haut Lafitte is described as "Possibly ranking with the top two or three wines of the vintage" by Jeb Dunnuck (97-100 points).  No fewer than three critics score this as a potential 100 point wine, with Perotti-Brown and Suckling agreeing with Dunnuck that this could shape up to be the best ever wine from this estate.

We loved the sample we tasted, which had a great density of blackcurrant fruit and violets on the nose, a linear, focused palate and beautifully pure, intensely defined blackberry fruit. The firm, granitic tannins and sense of energy mark this out as a wine of real stature.  Bottled with a special anniversary label (marking the 30th vintage since the Cathiard's acquired the estate in 1990), the difficulty will be in getting hold of some, as stock is extremely limited, so please don't delay. 

The second wine, Le Petit Haut Lafitte, is a favourite of ours in any vintage and at just £225 per dozen and with 93 points from Jane Anson, this is an accessible way to enjoy the wines from this château.

Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2023

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Château Smith Haut Lafitte,  Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan

Producer Profile

Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan

Château Smith Haut Lafitte is a Grand Cru Classé de Graves estate in the communes of Pessac-Léognan.  The estate dates back to at least the 14th century, owned by Dubosq, and takes the Lafitte part of its name from a gravelly plateau in the area.  In the 18th century, it was acquired by the prosaically named George Smith, who added his own name to the estate.

Until 1990 the château was owned by a negociant firm, Louis Eschenauer, producing average quality wines. until it was acquired by the Cathiard family.  They invested heavily in a new winery and have applied the latest technology each year to the estate.  Florence Cathiard also made the estate famous (not to mention promoting healthy associations with wine) by establishing a spa and a range of cosmetics, Les Sources de Caudalie, based on the health-giving properties of grape extracts.

The 78-hectare vineyard of Smith Haut Lafitte has 67 hectares devoted to red wine grapes and 11 hectares of vines for the white wine grape varieties.

67 hectares are planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.  The terroir is gravel with small quartz pebbles. The average age of the vines is around 38 years of age.

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