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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 1998

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • W&S90
0% ABV
  • WS98
  • RP98
  • WE98
  • JS98
  • WS97
  • RP97
  • WE97
  • WW96
  • JS96
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Try the 2010 Vintage 185 99
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Winemaker Notes

A powerful, well-structured, and rich wine, reflecting all the elegance of the terroir.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Decadent aromas here, with meat, ripe fruit and spices. Full-bodied, with round, soft tannins and lots of spicy, earthy and leafy flavors. Long and rich. Give it a little more bottle age. This has always been excellent.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A beautiful wine of symmetry, finesse, and elegance, this deep ruby/purple-colored offering reveals classic aromas of black currants, new wood, and scorched earth. This pure, medium-bodied, restrained, measured, graceful 1998 offers impressive overall symmetry as well as well-integrated tannin. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2018.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
No tasting note given.
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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

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Château Smith Haut Lafitte, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
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.

With a distinctly Mediterranean climate featuring warm days and cool nights, the Lodi AVA in California’s Central Valley provides growers with ideal conditions for grape-growing. As most of the rain falls in winter months while vines are dormant, the risk of disease and pest problems is low and irrigation can make up for the dry conditions during harvest.

By a wide margin, Zinfandel is the most successful and widely planted variety in Lodi. Often made from old vines, these wines are robust and fleshy with ripe, plummy fruit and represent excellent value at the lower end of the price spectrum. Over 100 other varieties are grown here, ranging from the classic (Merlot, Chardonnay) to the obscure and experimental (Portugal’s Touriga Nacional, France's Picqpoul).

Petite Sirah

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With its deep color, rich texture, firm tannin, and bold flavors, there is nothing petite about Petite Sirah. The variety was originally known as Durif, but took on its more popular moniker when it was imported to California from France in 1884. Despite its origins, it has since become known as a quintessentially Californian grape. It has been commonly utilized as a blending partner for softer Zinfandel and other varieties, but has also found success as a single varietal wine. It is most commonly grown in Lodi and the Central Valley, and to an extent in Sonoma and Napa counties.

In the Glass

Petite Sirah wines are typically deep, dark, rich, and inky, with concentrated flavors of blueberry, plum, backberry, black pepper, sweet baking spice, leather, and cigar box, and chewy, chocolatey tannins. Notes of vanilla and coconut can be found in examples with significant amounts of new oak.

Perfect Pairings

Petite Sirah’s full body and bold fruit make it an ideal match for barbecue, especially brisket with a slightly sweet sauce, and other rich meat dishes. The variety’s heavy tannins call for fatty protein and strong flavors that won’t get drowned out by the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Don’t get Petite Sirah confused with Syrah—it is not, as the name might seem to imply, a smaller version of Syrah. It is, however, the offspring of Syrah (crossed with an obscure French variety called Peloursin), so the two grapes do share some characteristics despite being completely distinct varieties.

SIM120525_1998 Item# 120525

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