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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte has a long history in Bordeaux that dates back over 800 years. The estate started out life as part of the Du Boscq holdings in the Graves region. It was Du Boscq who planted vines in 1365 on a gravelly plateau called Lafitte. This is of course where part of the famous chateau took its name from. Jumping ahead a few hundred years, George Smith bought the Graves estate in 1720. Smith added his name to the property, which we now know of as Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte.
Starting in 2000, the wines clearly started showing a lot of improvement, with further, noticeable jumps in quality in 2005, 2008 and again in 2009, and in my eyes, once again 2010! You can add 2015 and 2016 to that growing list of top vintages as well.
The 78 hectare Pessac Leognan vineyard of Smith Haut Lafitte has 67 hectares planted to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot for the red wine. At Smith Haut Lafitte, all work in the vineyard is organic and self sustainable. In fact, much of the farming techniques employed are with an eye to biodynamic farming techniques. Fabien Teitgen, the Technical Director for all the Cathiard properties is an integral part of their estate’s success.
Created during the blending process of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Hauts de Smith is vinified and aged with the same care as the Grand Vin. From the vineyard to the cellar, all the production techniques are identical.
“The 2015 Les Hauts de Smith is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked up around October 8. It has a fragrant bouquet with touches of crushed violet petals littered over the blackberry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin. Grippy in the mouth, cedar and graphite lending it an almost Pauillac-like flavor profile, this is a “serious” Pessac-Léognan that deserves 3-4 years in bottle. Drink 2018 – 2028.”
88 – 90 points.”
(Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate #224, April 2016)