Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2005
Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
#19 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008
Wine Spectator - "Honey, apple tart, light toffee, cream and piecrust. Very complex and full-bodied, with lively acidity and beautiful clove honey, red apple and lemon flavors. Long, balanced and very lively. A massive white. Layered and beautiful. Made to age, but who can wait to drink this?"
The Wine Advocate - "A stunningly, rich, concentrated effort, the 2005 may be one of the finest whites Smith Haut-Lafitte has ever produced. It exhibits notes of honeyed oranges, honeysuckle, spring flowers, lemon grass, and melons. Gorgeous acidity, excellent concentration, and a beautiful texture result in an impressive, full-bodied wine to consume over the next two decades."
International Wine Cellar - "Pale yellow. Pure aromas of grapefruit, lemon drop, pear and spicy, vanillin oak. Dense and sweet, with lovely floral lift and bright acids leavening the wine's creamy richness. This is wonderfully layered in the middle palate, and finishes with superb palate-staining persistence. 'The same blend as always,' says Florence Cathiard, 'but richer in every respect.'
Wine & Spirits - "Clean and pure with beautiful ripeness, this wine's fruit has been concentrated and focused through oak aging, which blunts its full expression until it has long exposure to air (or enough time in bottle). As it opens, the stoniness of the wine develops along with potent flavors of quince and fresh melon. The structure is staunch, almost tannic in its grip, a powerful wine built for the cellar."
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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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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