Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
James Suckling - "What a nose here. Dark chocolate, raspberries, blueberries and mineral aromas. Full bodied, with ultra-polished tannins and a long, long finish. Wonderfully structured. Classy. Try it after 2014. "
The Wine Advocate - "One of the stars of the vintage, this elegant, smoky wine has hints of barbecue pit intermixed with sweet black currants and cherries. Dark purple and medium to full-bodied, its impressive finesse and wonderful purity make for a surprisingly forward style of Smith-Haut-Lafitte to drink over the next 15 or so years."
Wine Enthusiast - "An elegant wine, smooth and rounded, bringing out smoky fruits over tannins that smooth out as the fruit unfolds. Less opulent than some previous vintages, the wine shows restraint and aging potential."
Wine Spectator - "This expressive red shows intensity with grace, balancing pure black cherry, mineral and tobacco flavors with toasty oak and fresh acidity. The tannins are firm but ripe, fading to a floral, smoky finish."
International Wine Cellar - "Good medium ruby. Black cherry, dark berries and licorice on the nose. Sweet but firm, with excellent concentration and medicinal reserve to the dark berry flavors. An elegant, ripe, smooth wine with a lovely mounting finish featuring suave tannins. No rough edges or austerity here--in fact this is downright creamy in the mid-palate--but this has plenty of structure for a graceful evolution in bottle."
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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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.