Château Smith Haut Lafitte has once again come up with the goods in 2019. The whites are rich and full bodied and the reds have the characteristic plush quality that is a signature here. The Grand Vin red is fabulous. The fruit is super seductive and joyful and there is considerable depth to the wine. Stylistically technical director Fabien Teitgen reckons it’s three quarters 2016 combined with a quarter 2015. Certainly the 2019 has greater freshness and more acidity over the coquettish 2018 here, the result of the fractionally cooler conditions in August and September in 2019. Overall, despite these vintage differences, there is remarkable consistency here, year after year. Under the ownership of Florence and Daniel Cathiard, Smith Haut Lafitte has become one of Bordeaux’s benchmarks for brilliance and this is true again in 2019.
Posts Tagged ‘Florence Cathiard’
Château Smith Haut Lafitte has made very impressive wines in 2015. There is a voluptuous beauty to the red, which is seductive and complete. The white is aromatic and full, with notes of white peach and melon. Both wines are defined by considerable depth and length. They continue a run of great form at a property that seemingly can do no wrong. The striking difference this year is the label. It’s gone jet black. It celebrates 25 vintages made by current owners Florence and Daniel Cathiard. 2015 also marks 650 harvests at the property that dates back to 1365. This remarkable history reminds us that Bordeaux’s oldest winemaking heritage lies in Pessac-Léognan itself [let’s ignore the Romans in St Emilion for a moment…].
Château Smith Haut Lafitte is one of the most impressive set-ups in Bordeaux. The terroir in Pessac-Léognan is fabulous; the vines immediately surrounding the property are beautifully mature; the cellar is state of the art and eco-friendly. In my experience, the past half dozen vintages here, both red and white, are qualitatively at the very highest level. This is true once again in 2014. Throw in the smart hotel that adjoins the property, with its spa and two Michelin star restaurant and it adds up to a level of sophistication and consumer awareness that would turn the owner of even the most ambitious Napa Valley boutique operation green with envy. And as for Bordeaux, it puts almost all of the grand crus classés to shame.