Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
The new wine from the 2009 vintage was deeply-colored, almost black. It had great concentration with powerful, complex, and elegant aromas of red and black fruit, spices, herbs, cedar, licorice, clove, and graphite. This complexity was also present on the palate, and the wine soon proved to be rich, powerful, balanced, and refreshing. With time, power and concentration have become its hallmarks – but not at all at the expense of finesse. The tannin is incredibly rich and there is a beautiful, long aftertaste. The aromatic complexity on the nose carries over to the palate, which features superb red fruit and spicy flavors (clove, liquorice, and cinnamon) as well as subtle overtones of graphite, gunflint, and violet. 2009 Smith Haut Lafitte displays a rare combination of power, richness, outstanding elegance, and delicate tannin.
Blend: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot
The Wine Advocate - "The finest wine ever made by proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the 2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte exhibits an opaque blue/purple color in addition to a glorious nose of acacia flowers, licorice, charcoal, blueberries, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings and incense. This massive, extraordinarily rich, unctuously textured wine may be the most concentrated effort produced to date, although the 2000, 2005 and 2010 are nearly as prodigious. A gorgeous expression of Pessac-Leognan with sweet tannin, emerging charm and delicacy, and considerable power, depth, richness and authority, it should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. Bravo!"
Wine Spectator - "This is really loaded, with crushed plum, blueberry, cassis, fig and blackberry paste flavors all melded together, along with notes of tar, pastis and violet. Very long and dark, but polished and pure, with terrific fruit offset by a great tug of earth on the finish. Should cruise easily in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2035."
James Suckling - "Aromas of flowers, dried citrus fruit and blueberries follow through to a full body, with firm and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Gorgeous fruit and structure. Polished and powerful. Best red ever from Smith. Best in 2018. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright red-ruby. Enticing aromas of blueberry, flowers, graphite and charred, nutty oak, plus a sexy suggestion of floral white fruit. Like liquid silk on entry, then concentrated and lush in the middle, with red plum, tobacco and mineral flavors given definition by lovely harmonious acidity. Utterly seamless wine with suave tannins. Voluminous and intense but not a powerhouse. Finishing flavors mount slowly and stain the palate without leaving any impression of weight. Conveys a beautiful impression of site and vintage. The most complete young Smith Haut Laffite I've yet tasted at this early stage; perhaps my score will ultimately prove to be conservative.
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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.
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