Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2006
"Loads of blackberry and licorice with hints of meat and smoked oak. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and lots of very ripe and exotic fruit. Very exotic and wild. Rich finish. Best after 2009."
Wine Spectator - "Loads of blackberry and licorice with hints of meat and smoked oak. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and lots of very ripe and exotic fruit. Very exotic and wild. Rich finish. Best after 2009"
James Suckling - "A wonderful nose of spices, dark fruits, and hot stones in the vineyard. On the palate it has a full body, displaying power and solidity. Beautiful polished tannins, but this is still a bit young. You can drink this now, but it will be better if you pull the cork in 2013."
The Wine Advocate - "A beauty of cassis, plum, tobacco leaf and spice, this dark plum/purple-hued, medium to full-bodied 2003 reveals sweet, round, cassis flavors. It has reached full maturity, but shows no signs of decline, and should continue to hold at this plateau for another decade. Although the 2003 is not up to the perfect levels of the 2009 and 2010, it is unquestionably a noteworthy success in a vintage that did not favor Pessac-Leognan."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Good deep red with ruby highlights. Ripe, expressive nose offers plum, strawberry, currant and tobacco. Dense, fat and sweet, with lovely breadth but also excellent vinosity for the year. The red fruit, tobacco and smoke flavors are nicely framed by firm acids. Finishes broad and long, with sweet tannins and plenty of energy. Accessible now but should evolve positively for a decade or more."
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Château Smith Haut Lafitte Winery
Thanks to its 55 hectares of superb gravelly vineyards, Smith Haut Lafitte is often referred to as the "archetypical Graves." The estate's history goes back to the Crusades, and a Scottish navigator, George Smith, who became the owner of the estate in the 18th century. He was followed by M. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux, and then Louis Eschenauer, a famous wine shipper.
In 1990, Daniel and Florence Cathiard also fell under the spell of this beautiful estate. Since then, they have restored the 16th century tower, renovated the 18th century manor house, built two underground cellars, went back to traditional vine growing methods without chemical herbicides and set up their own cooperage. The perfect elegance, excellent balance and fine structure of Smith Haut Lafitte's red and white wines are the ultimate reflection of the current owners' total commitment to quality. View all Château Smith Haut Lafitte Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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