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New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2007
Tasted at BI Wine & Spirits' 10-Years-On tasting, the 2007 Smith-Haut-Lafitte has a delightful bouquet of cedar-tinged red berry fruit mixed with cloves and Chinese five-spice, all well defined and quite Saint Julien-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, hints of sandalwood and truffle infusing the decayed red fruit but with plenty of substance and freshness on the finish. I reckon after a decade, this Pessac-Leognan is a point and should be consumed now and over the next 8-10 years. Tasted February 2017.
A smooth, polished wine, with acidity, sweet fruit and a range of dusty tannins, with acidity. This is an accomplished, delicious wine that is developing fast, and seems only for medium-term aging.
Offers wonderful currant, berryand cedar box aromas. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long, classy finish. Balanced and fruity. Racy and gorgeous. Best after 2012. 10,000 cases made
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.
Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.
Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône blends and Barberas are also important regional specialties.
Friendly, approachable, and full of juicy fruit flavor, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from young and fruity to serious, spicy, and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera, but is also planted in the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. It is one of the most successful and lasting remnants of the Cal-Italian movement, grown throughout the state of California—particularly in the Sierra Foothills—and has also found a foothold in parts of Australia.
In the Glass
Barbera is typically marked by red cherry, raspberry, and blackberry flavors backed by a signature zingy acidity and smooth tannins. More complex examples can include notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise, and nutmeg. In warmer New World climates, Barbera is all about the fruit, sometimes leaning towards over-ripe or dried fruit flavors that can give an impression of sweetness to the wine. Old World Barbera can develop intriguing notes of graphite, smoke, lavender, and violet.
Barbera’s prominent acidity makes it a natural match with tomato-based dishes, therefore making it an easy pairing with a wide array of Italian cuisine. It works just as well with lighter red meat dishes, hamburgers, or barbecue.
Most Barbera wines come from one of two villages in Piemonte—Alba and Asti. Though it is difficult to generalize, typically Barbera d’Asti is softer and more elegant with bright, tangy acidity, while Barbera d’Alba tends to be fuller, rounder, and fleshier.