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Flat front label of wine

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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0% ABV
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3.9 13 Ratings
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3.9 13 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Merlot were intensely colored and concentrated, with good structure and volume. The bouquet features fresh, ripe fruit (raspberries, cherries, blackberries), with spicy, licorice overtones. The Cabernet Sauvignon express all their aromatic freshness in a powerful, rich structure, redolent of fresh red-berry fruit, with floral and flinty overtones. And finally, the Cabernet Franc is concentrated yet lively, featuring red-berry fruit with hints of spice.The Smith Haut Lafitte red 2004 blend is based on a majority of Cabernet wines, and shows promise of being a great wine: concentrated and powerful, with good backbone, a lovely, silky texture, and a fresh, complex bouquet of ripe red-berry fruit, with spicy, licorice, violet, and flint overtones. 2004 is truly a successful vintage for good grape-growers.

Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A sensational effort and one of the stars of the vintage, Smith-Haut-Lafitte's 2004 possesses an inky/blue/purple-tinged color as well as a sumptuous nose of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, blueberries, and blackberries. Surprisingly full-bodied for the vintage with stunning concentration, purity, and overall harmony, this is another brilliant wine from the proprietors, the Cathiards, who have done such a spectacular job at this estate since the early 1990s. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2022.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
The Cathiards have scored with their 2004. It is rich and dense, but keeps a fine sense of structure. While the tannins are dusty, almost sweet, they keep good balance with the elegant fruit and the enticing acidity.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Oak dominates the wine for now, with luscious red- and black-currant fruit a whisper underneath. The juiciness of that fruit grows rounder and more substantial with air as the wine evolves toward elegance. Modern and supple, this should be at its best six to eight years from the vintage.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Lots of blackberry, spice and tobacco on the nose, with hints of cigar box. Full-bodied, with soft, round tannins and a dark chocolate and fruit aftertaste. Balanced and caressing. Best after 2009.
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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

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Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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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.

Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Camenere

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine, and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SSR91096_2004 Item# 91096