Learn everything about Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac Leognan, with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property and information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte History, Overview
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte has a long history in Bordeaux dating 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 first 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, and now you know where the name Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte came from.
Today, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is owned and managed by Daniel Cathiard and Florence Cathiard. The Cathiards purchased the estate in 1990. They bought the property from the well known Bordeaux negociant and importer to America, Louis Eschenauer.
According to Daniel Cathiard, there were numerous estates in Bordeaux for sale at the time. But a big part of the reason they purchased Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte had to do with the fact that Smith Haut Lafitte is one of the few Bordeaux vineyards producing both red and white wines.
Prior to the arrival of the Cathiard family, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte was not known for producing high quality wine. It took a decade of hard work and serious investments before things began turning around here.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte the Modern Age
But 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, and again in 2018!
One of the first changes the Cathiard family did once they took over Smith Haut Lafitte was stopping stop the practice of mechanical harvesting. In its place, they started handpicking their fruit. To avoid oxidation, the freshly picked grapes were placed in small trays. Specially designed ergonomic hods hold these trays until they are brought to the trailer.
The unique system of ergonomic hods developed by Daniel Cathiard is based on a design used by Sherpas in the Himalayas. These unique hods allow the fruit to avoid breaking their skins before they arrive at the reception center for vinification.
Sorting is a major part of the work that takes place at Smith Haut Lafitte. During picking, an initial sorting takes place. A second manual sorting is done after destemming on a sorting table.
Daniel Cathiard and Florence Cathiard invested considerable sums of money into modernizing Smith Haut Lafitte. One of their first major decisions was in 1995 when they built their own cooperage, allowing them produce 70% of their own barrels in the exact manner they desired.
Their next move was to completely redesign and create all new, state of the art, wine making facilities. This trend continues today with the creation of the new, semi-secret wine cellars that are reached through a trap door located in the floor of their main tasting room.
At Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, they strive to stay on top of the latest technology available. With the 2009 harvest, they were one of the first properties embracing the use of Oenoview satellite imagery system to assist in finding the perfect moment to begin harvesting their vineyards.
They also make use of the latest optical sorting technology. These efforts coupled with an outstanding vintage, allowed the chateau to produce their finest wine to date in 2009. For the 2015 vintage, the Cathiard family produced a special label celebrating their 25 years of ownership at Smith Haut Lafitte.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
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.
For the red wine grapes, 67 hectares are planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It is the goal of the estate to continue planting more Cabernet Sauvignon until it reaches 70% of their plantings.
For the red wine grapes, the terroir consists of deep gravel with the top surface covered in smaller quartz pebbles. Below that you find sand and limestone in their soil, with gentle slopes. The average age of the vines is close to 38 years of age.
For the white Bordeaux wine of Smith Haut Lafitte, they have 11 hectares planted to 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. The white wine grapes are planted just behind the chateau and to the north. Here you find more clay and limestone in the soils and slightly cooler temperatures for the white wine grapes.
For the white wine grape varieties, the microclimate is a bit cooler. The white wine grapes planted today are quite different than what you found in previous, older vintages. Prior to the purchase of Smith Haut Lafitte by the Cathiard family, the white wines were produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc.
As you can see from the vineyard plantings, with the inclusion of Semillon and Sauvignon Gris, that is no longer the case. The wines now have more richness thanks to this change in the plantings.
They have old vines which are close to 65 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density ranging from 7,500 vines per hectare to 9,000 plants per hectare. Newer plantings are done at the higher level of vine density.
On average, the vines are 38 years of age. For the white wines, they have old Sauvignon Blanc vines that are 60 years of age. The vine density ranges from 7,500 vines per hectare to 9,000 vines per hectare.
Unique to most of the great vineyards in Bordeaux, Smith Haut Haut Lafitte is in one large block of vines, which is then subdivided into 140 smaller parcels. The best part of the vineyard is located at the center, on the gravel plateau of Smith Haut Lafitte, which has a peak elevation of 40 meters. Here you find much of their best Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted.
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.
Fabien Teitgen likes to keep up with any technical improvements and is clearly driven to produce the best quality possible is always on the lookout for ways to improve the wine at Smith Haut Lafitte from work in the vineyards, to efforts in the cellars. Recently, he began a program experimenting with whole cluster fermentation for a portion of their Merlot.
For the vinification of the red wine for Smith Haut Lafitte, after sorting and pre fermentation cold maceration, the grapes are whole berry fermented in 30 large, temperature controlled, oak vats that range in size from 60 hectoliters up to 100 hectoliters.
A portion of the Merlot is vinified with the stems intact. Malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of new, French oak barrels, older barrels and vats. All wine is moved by gravity in the cellars of Smith Haut Lafitte. The wine ages on its lees for the first few months of aging.
The red Bordeaux wine of Smith Haut Lafitte is aged in an average of 60% to 70% new, French oak barrels for between 16 to 18 months. On average 10,000 cases of Smith Haut Lafitte red wine are produced each vintage.
To produce the white wine of Smith Haut Lafitte, the grapes are whole berry fermented using a pneumatic press. There is no skin contact or malolactic fermentation. Vinification takes place in French oak barrels. The wines are aged on their fine lees for 12 months with stirring.
The white Bordeaux wine of Smith Haut Lafitte is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for an average of 12 months prior to bottling. For Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, the production is close to 2,500 cases per year.
The best vintages of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2000. Smith Haut Lafitte is making the best wines under the ownership of the Cathiard family in the history of the estate. Older vintages can be risky to purchase today.
As you can see, the best vintages for the red wine and white wine of Smith Haut Lafitte can be different from time to time.
The best vintages of Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte produces 2 second wines for their red wine. The blends are what differentiates the wines. Les Hauts de Smith is produced from an average blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. Le Petit Haut Lafitte is made from an average blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot.
Le Petit Haut Lafitte is made for export. Les Hauts de Smith is designed to be an earlier drinking wine that is sold to consumers and restaurants.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte also makes two second wines for their white Bordeaux wine, Les Hauts de Smith Blanc, which is produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc and Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc which is a blended wine Semillon that is made for export. The Cathiard family purchased Chateau Cantelys in 1994 and Chateau Le Thil more recently. Both estates are located close to Smith Haut Lafitte in the Pessac Leognan appellation.
The property also features a world class spa, Les Sources de Caudalie, which is in walking distance from the winery. They specialize in Vinotherapie, which uses grape extracts in many of their products and treatments. http://sources-caudalie
When to Drink Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte needs time before it begins to show its true character. Smith Haut Lafitte needs at least 8-10 years of aging in good vintages until it is ready to be enjoyed. Young vintages can be decanted for 2-3 hours, or more. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume.
Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 12 and 30 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
The white wine of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is best served with a myriad of different seafood dishes, shellfish, crab, lobster, sushi, sashimi, chicken, pork and veal, as well as Asian cuisine.
In July 2011, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte purchased a majority of the vineyard property belonging to the neighboring estate, Chateau Le Thil. 11.6 hectares of vines and 8.2 hectares of verdant parkland went to Smith Haut Lafitte. Much of that land is located next to Smith Haut Lafitte and was actually part of the original estate that was owned by Lodi Duffour Dubergier.
In essence, this reunited the original vineyards. Le Thil belonged to his nephew, from whom the de Laitre family is descended. The remaining vineyard land was sold to Les Carmes Haut Brion.
In July, 2014, the Cathiard family continues expanding their holdings in Bordeaux with the purchase of Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol and Bastor Lamontagne in Sauternes. They sold Bastor Lamontagne in 2019. The Pomerol and Sauternes properties were purchased in a partnership between the Moulin Family, the owners of the large, French chain of Galerie Lafayette stores and the Cathiard Family.
In 2019, The Cathiard family continued expanding their holdings when they purchased Flora Springs in Napa Valley, in the Rutherford appellation. Floral Springs is a historic property, founded in 1885.
Château Smith Haut Lafitte Wine Tasting Notes
55 Vintages 476,286 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2019||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Quite deep in color, the initial nuances of chocolate mint, flowers, spice, incense, espresso and smoky red fruits fills your nose and glass. On the palate, the wine is fleshy, seductive, soft and loaded with dark sweet fruits. Expansive, silky and long, the layers of sweet fruits linger in the finish. The fruit shows a beautiful purity and sensuous quality in the fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place September 23 through October 10. Yields were 38 hectoliters per hectare with the grand vin produced from only 40% of the harvest. 96-98 Pts
4,598 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
|2019||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Walk into a flower garden and squeeze lemons, grapefruit and white peach all over everything, with honeydew melon and you get an idea of the nose here. Great lift, vibrancy, elegance and mouth-feel, with length, purity and freshness. This is the best white wine from Smith Haut Lafitte in a few years! The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. 97 Pts
3,487 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
|2019||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit (Pessac-Léognan)|
A deep shade of ruby, the wine pops with its smoke, licorice, roasted coffee bean and dark red fruit note. Fruity with structure and roundness, the wine feels good as it hits your palate with concentrated, soft, ripe, sweet fruit. The finish gives you a nice dusty quality to the ripe fruit, along with just a hint of bitter chocolate. The wine is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and paired with 40% Merlot. 91-93 Pts
2,192 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
|2019||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Juicy, sweet, fresh, ripe, bright, crisp citrus, orange rind and white flowers from start to finish. Pop this and pair it with grilled seafood this summer. 91 Pts
2,753 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
|2018||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Deep, dark almost inky in color, the wine pops with smoke, licorice, wet forest, spice box, cherry, black raspberry, espresso and dark chocolate create an exciting aromatic profile. The wine is rich, deep, dense, concentrated, plush and sensual. There is a lot going on here, but everything is in harmony. Most of the oak is already integrated, due to a reduction of time in the barrel and less toast. This helps show off the purity in the fruits and softens the expression, making this a stellar wine, that will age gracefully for decades. Produced from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, not much wine was produced as yields were less than half of a normal year. This could be my favorite vintage of Smith Haut Lafitte.
1,911 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
Opaque in color, just one look tells you this is going to exciting to taste. Licorice, smoke, barbecue, burning campfire embers and black fruits might be the first thing you notic but it is the palate, coated by the layers of sensuous, pure, ripe, velvet textured fruit that really rocks. The wine is creamy, juicy and even with all that fruit -- fresh! The finish must last at least 60 seconds as it moves back and forth from red fruit to black fruit several times. There is serious competition for the best vintage ever from Smith Haut Lafitte, as there have been so many great vintages here but clearly 2018 is in contention for the top title. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.25% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place August 24-September 17, which is quite early for Smith Haut Lafitte. 2018 is a low yield vintage here at only 21 hectoliters per hectare due to hail and issues with mildew. 97-99 Pts
3,445 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2018||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Flowers, white peach, yellow citrus, pears, green apples and even a touch of vanilla tinged cantaloupe are found in the aromatic complexities. Balanced on the precipice of opulent and fresh, the wealth of fruit is sweet, ripe, long, creamy and a pleasure to allow to linger on your palate. The wine blends 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon.
535 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
White peach, flowers, honeysuckle, lemons, pomelo and Granny Smith apples with just a touch of honey are on the nose and palate. The finish adds pears, vanilla and almond with traces of vanilla bean to round things out. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon.
2,312 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2018||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit (Pessac-Léognan)|
Cigar box, cedar, tobacco leaf, flowers, blackberry, currants, licorice, vanilla and dark cherry aromatics create the nose. On the palate, the wine is round,, soft, polished and fresh with good sweetness to the fruits, concentration and a finish loaded with cocoa, cherries, licorice, spice and espresso. This is a top vintage for Le Petit Haut Lafitte that will drink well for at least 12 years or more. The wine is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.
690 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
Bay leaf, scorched earth, black raspberry, blackberry, licorice, vanilla and smoke weave an arousing aromatic profile. The wine is concentrated, rich, silky and with good density of flavor. The fruit is ripe, soft and polished with freshness, blackberries dipped in chocolate, licorice and toast in the finish. I am quite certain this is the best vintage of Le Petit Haut Lafitte ever produced! The wine is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and paired with 40% Merlot. 91-93 Pts
2,444 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2018||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Round, ripe, sweet and packed with spicy, yellow citrus, lemon rind, almonds and tangerine, this is ready to go. I'd opt for drinking this over the next 3-5 years.
684 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
Fresh, juicy lemons with a shot of orange on the nose and palate make for perfect, near term, summery drinking.
2,091 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Everything is on target here. The nose with its flowery aromatics paired with yellow citrus, orange blossom, mint leaf and grapefruit works. On the palate, the lushly textured fruit has that beautiful acidic pop, giving you citrus, mango and vanilla in the finish. This should age quite well.
2,858 Views Tasted May 17, 2020
With honeysuckle, lemons, pear, almonds and traces of vanilla bean, this wine is loaded with sweet yellow fruits, crushed rocks and vibrant acidity. Offering a buoyancy and a profundity of flavor with length and complexity, this wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. It reached 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.15.
2,985 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2017||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Round, deep, full-bodied, lush and with good intensity of flavor, the wine has richness and length. All of this is a good thing, so you can catch all of the smoke, tobacco, dark cocoa and black with red fruits. The finish delivers length and persistence, coupled with the ability to age.
4,242 Views Tasted May 17, 2020
On the far edge of opaque with dark purple accents glimmering in a submerged cavern of blood red, espresso, smoke, black fruits, wet earth, licorice, truffle and dark chocolate introduce themselves instantly. Full-bodied, plump and glamorous with serious density, length and character, the tannins are ripe but this wine is going to need time in the cellar even with all its ripe, supple fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place September 11 through September 29 and the Grand Vin represents just 40% of the harvest. Due to the frost, the yields here are very low – sadly, only 30 to 35 hectoliters per hectare.
3,168 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2017||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Sunny citrus fruits dominated by an extra splash of pomelo to begin. In the mouth, the wine is juicy and fresh with a zippy, sweet blast of a well-pared, sugared grapefruit in the finish.
1,863 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2017||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit (Pessac-Léognan)|
With a nice nose of leaf, cassis, smoke and wet earth, the wine is fresh, ripe, sweet and juicy. The cassis has a nice, spicy leaning in the medium bodied, finish. The second wine of Smith Haut Lafitte is produced for export. The wine is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and paired with 40% Merlot.
2,158 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
The depth of color is serious. On the nose, there is dark red fruits, licorice, smoke, herbs and espresso bean. The wine is clearly intense, and also lifted, which is very hard to do! The oak is better integrated than in previous vintages and the velvet and silky texture on the palate is a complete turn on. Everything is in balance and harmony here. The finish is seamless. This is going to age quite well.
7,077 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
This is a strong candidate for the best wine yet produced by the Cathiard family at Smith Haut Lafitte. The inky color lets you know this is going to be packed and stacked with layers of ripe fruit. But there is more going on here than concentration. Dense, yet light on its feet, the fruit displays a level of purity not seen here before. The oak is better integrated and velvet and silky texture is a complete turn on Everything is in balance and harmony here.
8,640 Views Tasted Feb 10, 2019
This just keeps getting better and better. Intensity, power, concentration, lush, soft, polished tannins and a finish that sticks with your for about 50 seconds, letting you delve into its dark, ripe, smoky fruits, licorice, earth, espresso nose and cashmere tannins. Is this the best vintage of Smith Haut Lafitte? Maybe. Regardless, it is going to give the 2009 and 2010 a run for the money.
6,779 Views Tasted May 12, 2018
With a good depth of color, the wine is almost opaque with dark purple accents. Espresso, smoke, black fruits, wet earth, licorice, truffle and dark chocolate come right out, when asked. Full bodied, fat and opulent, with serious density, length, character and tannins. The tannins are ripe, but this is going to need time in the cellar, even with all the ripe, supple fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.75% alcohol with a Ph of 3.7, the harvest took place from September 22 to October 12 and the Grand Vin represents just 40% of the harvest.
6,145 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2016||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Ripe, sweet and juicy, with flowers, lemon rind, honeysuckle and white peach. The wine is on the lush side of the style range.
2,441 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
A bit rounder than usual, the wine pops with its yellow citrus, honeysuckle, white peach and floral notes. Fleshy, juicy and fresh, this will not need more a few years in the cellar to develop.
2,038 Views Tasted Feb 11, 2019
White peach, honeysuckle, pie crust and lemon curd aromatics are all over the place. The wine is concentrated, the fruit is sweet and juicy, but a but more lift would have made this really rock. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon, reaching 14% alcohol with a pH of 3.2.
3,154 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2016||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit (Pessac-Léognan)|
Earthy, smoky, wet forest, licorice and dark plums, with good density, supple, textures and a tannic finish, with a bit of dryness in the end note. The second wine of Smith Haut Lafitte is produced for export from Les Hauts de Smith, as it is dominated by 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and paired with 40% Merlot. Earthy scents coupled with tobacco, coffee, black raspberry and plums reveal freshness in the fruit, softness in the tannins and a spicy, dark, red fruit finish.
3,418 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2016||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Waxy, lemon curd on the nose leads you to a citrus filled, medium bodied, early drinking wine you can drink on release.
1,681 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
With a depth of color impossible to miss, the wine opens with smoke, licorice, blackberry, cassis, and wet forest aromatics. Rich, fleshy and concentrated with all the right stuff, the wine is ripe, sensuous, silky and polished, The finish delivers smoked fruits, ripe tannins and length of flavor, which keeps right on going. This will age seamlessly for decades. With bottle age, this could score higher, as it develops.
8,540 Views Tasted May 21, 2018
A seriously great wine from Smith Haut Lafitte. The wine has taken on additional nuances over the past year. It has filled out, softened and expanded. Dense, plush and character filled, this is one of the top wines ever produced at the property.
8,671 Views Tasted Jul 12, 2017
With a good depth of color, this wine pops with black cherry liqueur, blueberry, licorice, smoke, truffle, cigar box and espresso notes in the bouquet. A fine purity of fruit with sweetness and ripe berries give you a wine that is not as flashy as 2009 or 2010, but there is focus, finesse, elegance, polished tannins, concentration and intensity of flavor, with the ability to age and improve. The wine was made from a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Reaching 13.75% alcohol with a pH of 3.7, the harvest took place from September 22 to October 12 and the Grand Vin represents just 40% of the harvest. Because 2015 is the 25th vintage for the Cathiard family, and it's the 650th year that wine has been made at the estate, the wine will be placed in a special bottle with a sharp looking black and gold label! 96 - 98 Pts
8,560 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2016
|2015||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Honeysuckle, vanilla, yellow citrus peel and hints of orange fruits, there is left, energy and length here. The long, finish grabs you with its sweet, fresh, citrus, clay and tropical profile. Rich, long, fresh and expressive, this is just great and will only get better!
3,098 Views Tasted May 21, 2018
A melange of orange yellow citrus fruits, with accents of lime, papaya, vanilla and floral scents on the nose are the first things you notice. Richly textured, with layers of citrus fruits, honeydew melon and hints of tropical fruits fill up your palate. The wine is vibrant, long, sweet and fresh.
3,044 Views Tasted Mar 12, 2018
Bright, crisp, fresh, vibrant, yellow, citrus fruit with a hit of vanilla, flowers, stone and honey to complicate matters. Full bodied, round and lush, drink it young, or age it, either way, this is really quite nice.
3,479 Views Tasted Jul 11, 2017
Ripe, vibrant, zesty citrus, honeysuckle and vanilla with a lingering touch of honey and vanilla bean in the finish, this wine leaves an enjoyable, lasting impression. The wine reached 13.75% Alcohol with a pH of 3.2. The wine was made from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. The harvest took place from August 31 to September 19.
3,248 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2016
|2015||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Using 80% Sauvignon Blanc along with 20% Semillon, this wine offers lemon curd, succulent grapefruit, honeydew and waxy, citrus rind. It is Juicy, sweet, fresh and ripe and should be delicious upon release.
1,748 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2016
|2015||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit (Pessac-Léognan)|
The second wine of Smith Haut Lafitte is produced for export from Les Hauts de Smith, as it is dominated by 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and paired with 40% Merlot. Earthy scents coupled with tobacco, coffee, black raspberry and plums reveal freshness in the fruit, softness in the tannins and a spicy, dark, red fruit finish. 89 - 91 Pts
3,800 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2016
|2014||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Clearly better in the bottle, than when last tasted in barrel, the wine has gained complexity, depth and softness. Full bodied, fleshy and concentrated, with loads of juicy, sweet, ripe, fresh, dark fruits, smoke, licorice and oak, 4-6 years of bottle age will add a lot to this already tasty wine.
4,244 Views Tasted Feb 7, 2017
With a deep color and a spicy-fruit-cigar-box sensation, the black and red fruits really shine through. There is a plush character to the texture with newness and lift, a touch of oak and sweet, ripe, spicy berries in the finish. From a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.7% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. 93-94 Pts
5,277 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2015
|2014||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Honeysuckle, lemon peel, vanilla and just squeezed grapefruit notes are all over the place in this concentrated, luscious, remarkable combination of sweetness and acidity. There is length, character and persistence here.
2,380 Views Tasted Feb 7, 2017
The wine pops with sweet citrus, honeysuckle and vanilla notes. Ripe, zesty with fresh citrus and a lingering touch of honey and vanilla bean in the finish make a nice impression. From a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris, the wine reached 13.7% alcohol with a pH of 3.2. 94 Pts
2,308 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2015
|2014||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Citrus, honeydew, pomelo and freshness make for pleasant, easy drinking, refreshing wine. 89 Pts
1,752 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2015
|2013||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
One of the richer textured white Bordeaux wines of the vintage, the flamboyant, vanilla, spice, pineapple, white peach, meyer lemon and grapefruit aromatic display is completed with the display of luscious, white fruits and slightly honeyed, citrus in the finish
2,223 Views Tasted Feb 1, 2016
With good density, freshness and length, there is a blast of fresh-squeezed lemon, lime, vanilla and grapefruit that carries through from start to finish along with the perfect amount of freshness and lift to keep the wine lively and refreshing. 94-95 Pts
2,765 Views Tasted Apr 21, 2014
|2013||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
With a deep color for the vintage, the forward styled wine displays its smoke, roasted coffee, black cherry and earthy profile with ease. This should drink well on release.
3,418 Views Tasted Feb 3, 2016
With a spicy dark berry, smoke, earth and tobacco personality, the wine is plush, soft and fresh, ending with sweet black raspberries. Quite nice for the vintage. 91-93 Pts
2,976 Views Tasted Apr 21, 2014
|2012||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Medium/full bodied, with an earthy, truffle, smoky, espresso, blackberry, plum and dark cherry filled nose. Soft, plush and polished, the ripe, sweet fruits linger on your palate.
4,500 Views Tasted Mar 11, 2015
From 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.7 and will be aged in 60% new French oak for between 16 to 18 months. Deep in color with a smoky nose complicated by licorice, coffee, dark cherry and earthy aromas, the wine is fat, lush and dense. Supple tannins and fresh, round dark fruits create a long, rich, opulent finish. The Grand Vin represents about 50% of the harvest. 93-96 Pts
5,209 Views Tasted Apr 25, 2013
|2012||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fresh honeydew melon, orange blossoms, grapefruit and fresh squeezed lemon with a dash of honey are found in the nose. On the palate, the wine is ripe, long and lively.
1,796 Views Tasted Mar 11, 2015
Blending 90% Sauvignon with equal parts Semillon and Sauvignon Gris, the wine will be aged in 50% new French oak. Grapefruit, lime, lemon, vanilla, guava and banana scents require little effort to find. Rich, fleshy and concentrated with balancing acidity and freshness, the long and fresh citrus finish refreshes and expands. 93-95 Pts
2,533 Views Tasted Apr 25, 2013
|2012||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit (Pessac-Léognan)|
The second wine of Smith Haut Lafitte is produced for export and interestingly, it’s the opposite of Les Hauts de Smith, as it’s dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest of the blend made from 45% Merlot. Coffee bean, licorice and black cherry notes open to a tannic, dark cherry-filled wine, which will need a few years before it is ready to drink. 87-89 Pts
3,821 Views Tasted Apr 25, 2013
|2011||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
With a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris, the wine popped with vanilla bean, smoke, citrus, apple, stone and spicy tones. Rich, soft, fresh and refreshing, the wine finished with pomello and lemon peel in the crisp finish.
2,517 Views Tasted Feb 10, 2014
Blending 90% Sauvignon Blanc with equal parts Semillon and Sauvignon Gris, the wine will be aged in 50% new oak. Fresh-squeezed lemon, honeysuckle and grapefruit in the nose, which opens to a fleshy, mineral-driven, lively, concentrated and fresh citrus oil finish tinged with vanilla. 94-96 Pts
3,232 Views Tasted Apr 25, 2012
|2011||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
From an assemblage of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and a drop of Petit Verdot, the wine will be aged in 60% new oak. This is a deep, dark-colored Pessac Leognan with a perfume offering licorice, coffee, earth and jammy black raspberry. Rich, full-bodied, plush and intense, the wine ends with a fresh, long, floral and sweet finish with spice, espresso and black cherry. 92-94 Pts
4,036 Views Tasted Apr 25, 2012
|2010||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
This is showing better than ever. It's lush, opulently textured, intense, yet with a good purity of fruit and elegant, silky tannins. Still young, the wine is inky dark in color, with a primary character, but the last few years have helped the wine fill out and expand. This is about potential, but it's clear that this is going to be something special when it matures.
7,412 Views Tasted Mar 22, 2017
Dark in color, smoke, licorice, truffle, tobacco and chocolate scents get you going. Thick, rich, intense, concentrated and deep, the intense finish is packed with sweet, ripe, dark, sweet, boysenberries and even darker chocolate. This is even better than when tasted earlier this year.
8,838 Views Tasted Oct 11, 2014
What a nose! Smoky blackberries, exotic spices, blueberries, licorice, jam, tobacco, olive tapenade and forest scents are impossible to avoid. The wine is incredibly concentrated, balanced, polished, sensuous and sexy. This blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot should age and improve for decades.
9,339 Views Tasted Feb 15, 2013
Smith Haut Lafitte 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc and a dollop of Petit Verdot formed the assemblage. Deeply colored and filled with smoke, cassis, jam and licorice coated dark berry aromas, this rich, juicy, concentrated wine ends with a long opulent, fat, sweet, jammy black fruit and vanilla finish. 94-95 Pts
8,295 Views Tasted Apr 21, 2011
|2010||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Intense, attention seeking notes of lemon, lime, flowers and stone open to a wine with depth, richness and concentration. The wine is long, fresh, plush and polished with plush textures and a mélange of citrus and mineral sensations. There is a purity to the sweet fruits that remain on your palate for close to 40 seconds.
5,226 Views Tasted Apr 1, 2013
|2009||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Now, with just a few minutes of air you find truffle, smoke, fennel, black cherry, smoke and cocoa, dark chocolate notes. Full bodied, concentrated, the tannins are soft, the texture is round, the fruits are sweet, but there is oak needing to be better integrated into the wine. Give it another 5-8 years in the cellar, and if the oak fully integrates, this is going to be a great wine!
4,608 Views Tasted Sep 20, 2019
This is becoming compelling, now that the wine has dropped most of its baby fat. It also continues adding complexity, softness and secondary nuances. Silky, lush and polished, the velvet tannins are the perfect backing for the smoky, dark, ripe berries, licorice and earthy scents. The wine is long, which is a good thing, as it feels just great on your palate.
7,224 Views Tasted Mar 23, 2018
Like all great wines, this keeps getting better as it ages. Fat, rich, ripe, juicy, lush, opulent, round and dense, the wine is packed with ripe blackberries, plum, espresso, spice, earth and cigar wrapper. While this is good now, it's going to be much better with age as the wine gains in complexity and pulls together.
11,827 Views Tasted Sep 22, 2014
This is a property on a roll. Using slightly less oak has allowed more freshness and purity to shine through. Licorice, chocolate, juicy black plum liqueur and espresso scents create the perfume. There is a beautiful sensation of pure, rich fruit, freshness and sensuous textures. It’s a step up from every previous vintage produced by the Cathiard’s and Fabien Teitgen. As hard as it is to believe, their 2010 could end up a better wine!
15,018 Views Tasted Jan 30, 2012
2009 Smith Haut Lafitte is dark ruby. Its nose is of truffle, earth, spice, smoke, coffee, berry and caramel. Full bodied and filled with ripe, fleshy, opulently textured fruit. If all the oak fully integrates (and I suspect it will), this will be a very strong wine. The fleshy finish has elements of chocolate, coffee, dark berries, and pit fruits. 94/96 Pts
15,906 Views Tasted Aug 26, 2010
|2009||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fully mature, the wine sings its song of flowers, slightly honeyed, yellow citrus, vanilla bean, crushed rock and pomelo with little effort. Rich, lush and fully ready for its prime time showing, if you have been waiting for this gem to come around, your wait is over. Pop a cork and enjoy the ride.
2,907 Views Tasted Sep 20, 2019
Rich, fat, ripe and very ripe fruits with vanilla, grapefruit, citrus rind and minerality notes. Long, refreshing and concentrated, this is a charmer.
3,448 Views Tasted Sep 22, 2014
Opening with strong sensations of pineapple, green apple, melon and stone, this assemblage of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris creates a concentrated, opulent, rich, fresh, long, ripe, citrus and vanilla tinged finish.
4,360 Views Tasted Jan 27, 2012
|2008||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
On the nose the oak is still noticeable, from there you move on to the truffle, smoke, black cherry and dark chocolate notes. Full bodied, concentrated, the tannins are soft, the texture is round, the fruits are sweet, but there is some oak remaining in the finish that needs to further integrate. The wine was made from blending 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine reached 13.5% alcohol.
3,662 Views Tasted Sep 17, 2018
Oak, smoke, tobacco and ripe, sweet, dark fruits with a hint of cocoa open the wine. Air definitely helped the wine show better. It's still quite young today. Soft, round and smooth in texture, with good concentration of flavor, due to very low yields of only 24 hectoliters per hectare, the wine needs another 3-5 years to unfurl its full array of charms.
6,037 Views Tasted Jul 4, 2015
Deeply colored, the wine offers powerful scents of licorice, smoke, spice, fresh blackberry jam and earth. Rich, ripe, round and delicious, this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc needs only a few more wines before it starts to strut its stuff. It should drink well young.
9,810 Views Tasted Oct 4, 2012
Smoke, flowers, BBQ, cassis, blackberry, oak and vanilla scents are found in the perfume. The wine offers supple textures and a dark berry, cherry and coffee flavored finish.
10,015 Views Tasted Jan 28, 2011
08 Château Smith-Haut Lafitte shows pungent aromatics of oak, blackberry, tar, and spice. In the mouth, the wine is plush and fat, finishing with a blast of ripe black and red fruits. 92-95 Pts
6,164 Views Tasted Aug 31, 2009
|2008||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Vanilla and orange with yellow citrus and honey on the nose, the wine is sweet, lush, fresh and vibrant, with a juicy, honeyed citrus oriented finish. From a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris
2,020 Views Tasted Sep 17, 2018
With a strong blast of vanilla, toast, grapefruit, lemon peel, butter and green apple, the wine has richness and concentration. Forward and developed, this is ready for prime time drinking today.
3,618 Views Tasted Oct 31, 2016
|2007||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fresh scents of citrus oil, lemon wax, grapefruit, lime and white peach. Rich, full bodied and mouth filling, this voluptuous, ripe, white Bordeaux wine ends with a vibrant, spicy, citrus filled finish.
4,266 Views Tasted Oct 7, 2011
|2007||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Smoke, espresso and incense, with, earthy, red and dark plums in a medium bodied, fresh, round, sweet style. Fully developed, this requires drinking.
4,741 Views Tasted Jul 6, 2017
|2006||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Medium/Full bodied, structured, tannic concentrated style of wine, with a smoke, oak black cherry, licorice and earthy, truffle nose, finishing with a fresh, lively blast of blackberries, spice, espresso and thyme.
4,363 Views Tasted May 25, 2016
Earthy, smoky and soft, with black cherry, plum, tobacco and espresso notes in the nose, this is just starting to open and display its soft, round charms. A few more years should add more complexity and silk.
4,816 Views Tasted Feb 3, 2014
Smoke, blackberry liqueur, black cherries, tobacco, vanilla and earthy scents mix well with the lush, round, soft textures and the deep, licorice, vanilla and sweet, dark plum filled, stylish finish.
10,549 Views Tasted Oct 2, 2012
|2006||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
This wine opens with a lychee, sweet candied nose is very concentrated and filled with ripe fruit. This thick, Bordeaux Blanc ends with an intriguing lemon, lime note that lasts over :30.
3,998 Views Tasted Jun 15, 2008
|2005||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Coffee, smoke, baked cherries, tar, caramel and thyme open the nose. Combining round textures with freshness, this can be enjoyed now, as you can see from the secondary notes, if you allow it an hour or two of air. But a few more years will add more softness and complexity along with additional time to integrate the oak into the wine.
6,556 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2015
Smoke, coffee, licorice and spicy, blackberry jam notes open this concentrated wine. The wine is rich with lush, ripe, berries, but the oak remains noticeable. There is a touch of dryness in the dark berry and vanilla finish. Hopefully, the oak will dissipate with more bottle age. If the oak becomes better integrated, the wine will deserve a much higher score.
12,317 Views Tasted Feb 5, 2012
This kicks into high gear with its spicy cassis, chocolate, espresso, vanilla bean, smoke and blackberry scented nose. This full bodied, fat, rich, supple, concentrated wine offers offers a long flashy, dark berry filled finish.
15,702 Views Tasted Jun 15, 2009
Dense, thick, rich with a strong palate note of intense, black cherry. Very ripe. While this can be enjoyed young, 10 years will really bring it together. Better than the 2000.
6,572 Views Tasted Jan 20, 2008
|2005||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Showing a golden hue, the wine, with its apple pie and apple and cashew notes tastes like a 20 year old wine that is fading. Based on this bottle, this requires consumption.
4,716 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2015
|2004||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fat, lush and sweet, with a vanilla, lemon, grapefruit and waxy nose, with a honeyed, citrus and vanilla finish, this is ready to drink.
4,030 Views Tasted Nov 30, 2014
|2004||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
From a magnum, which could explain the wines youthful qualities, there is a richness to the fruit for the vintage that stands out. The nose serves up smoke, licorice, black cherry, earthy, oak and wet forest scents. The texture is smooth and the dark, spicy fruits come through in the finish. This is ready for prime time drinking.
3,696 Views Tasted Jan 4, 2015
Very supple, lots of energy and ample ripeness that ends with with a chocolate covered, ripe, black raspberry finish.
3,180 Views Tasted Jun 15, 2008
|2003||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Gently entering its state of decline. With air, the wine loses its freshness and soft textures. While there is still some dark red cherries, blackberry, truffle and smoke character remaining, this is best consumed sooner than later
4,475 Views Tasted Dec 18, 2013
Smoke, licorice, black cherry, tobacco, earth, coffee and herb notes create the perfume. Close to mature, the round, soft textured wine ends with blackberries, cherry and fresh herbs.
5,415 Views Tasted Nov 24, 2012
|2002||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
The wine opens with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, licorice, red and black plums with a nice earthy note. Soft textured, medium bodied and ready to drink, the wine finishes with dark red berries and coffee bean sensations.
3,758 Views Tasted Mar 2, 2016
|2001||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Open, accessible and already delivering its ample charms, lots of smoke, tobacco, coffee, blackberry, earth, vanilla and black raspberry flavors mesh perfectly with the wine's soft, supple textures. This blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc should age and improve for at least another 10-15 years.
4,726 Views Tasted Aug 11, 2012
|2000||Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fully mature, the wine has taken on a honeyed tone to the yellow and orange citrus fruits. The wine has weight and there is still some lift remaining. But there is no reason to age this any longer.
2,735 Views Tasted Oct 13, 2019
|2000||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Oak, smoke, coffee, blackberry and earthy scents, full bodied, soft, round tannins and a plum filled are found in this Pessac Leognan. The wine is slightly marred by too much oak. The level of quality found in the wines being made today at Smith Haut Lafitte is at a much higher level.
6,649 Views Tasted May 9, 2012
This kicks off with jammy, black fruit, oak and licorice notes. The wine is polished, round and clean, ending with soft, sweet black fruit flavors.
8,535 Views Tasted Mar 5, 2010
|1999||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Bright, energetic and with a lot of lift to the red fruits on the medium-bodied palate, the nose is more interesting, with all its tobacco, wet earth, smoke and leafy, earthy nuances. There is not much need to hold this for further aging. This is probably at peak today. Fans of cool weather vintages will probably like this even more.
2,908 Views Tasted Nov 29, 2018
|1998||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
This is drinking in a good place today. The nose, with its espresso, smoke, licorice, truffle and dark red berry scents has a lot to offer. Medium/full bodied and round in texture, the wine ends with black cherries, thyme and coffee notes in the lush finish.
4,114 Views Tasted Mar 8, 2016
|1996||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Medium-bodied, soft textured, cherry, plum and tobacco filled, smoky wine with just a touch of espresso and wet earth adding to the nose. This is fully ready for its prime-time showing. That being said, this is not a wine I would hold for further aging as I suspect the fruit will begin to fade from here.
3,343 Views Tasted Oct 5, 2018
|1995||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
The first good vintage for the new owners is fully mature. The nose with its tobacco, wet earth, leaf, cherry and forest aromatics is my favorite part of the experience. There is some roughness and sharpness to the texture in the medium/full bodied finish.
3,202 Views Tasted Nov 20, 2016
|1982||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
Slightly past its expiration date, this light-bodied wine offers more smoke, tobacco, leaf, herbs and earth, than red fruits at this time. The finish offers cranberry and bright cassis. The wines made today by the Cathiard are dramatically better and age better as well.
2,799 Views Tasted Nov 29, 2018
|1934||Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)|
This special, older bottle offered cherry pipe tobacco, tar, smoked herbs, truffles and fresh forest floor aromatics. Medium boded, but elegant and balanced, this charming older wine finished with a short, cherry tinged ending. This bottle was sold to me as a 1926. But to say not much was of the label remained is being charitable. When the bottle was opened, the cork showed the wine to be from 1934. But as you can see from my notes, the bottle was sound. And even better, 1934 is my dad's birth year! This is one of those mistakes that turned out much better than anticipated.
3,427 Views Tasted Jul 29, 2010