Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2009
Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
2009 Smith Haut Lafitte blanc has an attractive brilliant yellow color. The nose is quite delicate with floral overtones. Its full aromatic potential is released with aeration, revealing hints of yellow fruit (vineyard peaches, apricot), flowers (honeysuckle, broom flowers), and a touch of flint. The wine starts out straightforward on the palate, filling out to become rich and powerful (this is undoubtedly a food wine). The aftertaste is delightfully flavorsome, with yellow fruit (mango, apricot, and candied pineapple), sweet spice, and gunflint. The finish is quite long and delicious, and the wine is altogether rich and savory.
The Wine Advocate - "Smith-Haut-Lafitte hit a home run with their red Pessac-Leognan and came very close to perfection with their dry white Graves. Possibly the best dry white the estate has produced since the proprietors, the Cathiards, acquired the property in 1990, this wine exhibits a sensational fragrance of buttered citrus, honeyed melons and a touch of grapefruit, lemon zest and orange rind. It also displays grapefruit on the attack and mid-palate as well as real opulence, terrific acidity and length. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. Astonishing!"
James Suckling - "Wonderful aromas of flowers and berries. Subtle. Full and rich with silky tannins and a rich finish. This is compacted and gorgeous. Impressed."
Wine Spectator - "This is really gorgeous, with creamed Meyer lemon, meringue and lime chiffon notes leading the way, backed by pure salted butter, straw and warm shortbread flavors. Long and rich, yet detailed and focused through the finish. Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris. Drink now through 2022. 2,500 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "Full in the mouth, this is a rich wine with its yellow fruit and buried acidity. It is laden with wood and ripe fruit, and is dense and cushioned. A nutmeg flavor shows through slowly to add to the exotic, opulent aftertaste."
International Wine Cellar - "Medium-deep straw-yellow with a hint of gold. Deep, rich aromas of ripe citrus, beeswax and ginger. Enters the mouth creamy and almost sweet, with ripe tangerine, cantaloupe and fresh lime flavors. Then long and rather full-bodied on the back end, finishing with a refreshing mineral quality. For my money, this is one of the deepest and most complex white Smith Haut Lafittes of recent memory and one of the dry white wine stars of the 2009 vintage. This should be delicious upon release and offer pleasure anytime over the next 15 years.
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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.