Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte  2018  Front Label
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte  2018  Front LabelChateau Smith Haut Lafitte  2018 Front Bottle ShotChateau Smith Haut Lafitte  2018 A Closer Look at the 2018 Vintage Product Video

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2018

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750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.1 5 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very deep, intense black color. The nose is already expressive with a mix of red and black (blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry, raspberry) and spices, characteristic of perfectly ripe grapes. Swirling in the glass reveals considerable complexity with delicate floral notes, sweet spices, and gunflint. The wine starts out broad-based, concentrated, and powerful on the palate. The tannin is rich without compromising on freshness, balance, and delicate flavors. The expression "an iron first in a velvevt glove" perfectly sums up this wine!

Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JD 99
Jeb Dunnuck

The 2018 Château Smith Haut Lafitte is based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all of which was brought up in 60% new French oak. Its dense purple color is followed by an incredible perfume of blackcurrants, blueberries, camphor, scorched earth, chocolate, and tobacco. It's young and unevolved, yet the purity is off the charts, and it slowly gives up more spice and floral notes with time in the glass. Hitting the palate with full-bodied richness, it's an incredibly concentrated, powerful wine that has plenty of baby fat covering serious amounts of underlying structure and tannins. It has some up-front appeal from an educational standpoint, yet really needs a decade of bottle age and is going to keep for 30-40 years in cold cellars. It comes closest in my mind to a mix of the 2010 and 2016.

JS 98
James Suckling

Purity of fruit here with plum and cherry aromas, as well as wet earth and spice. Light stone. Very floral and vivid. Full-bodied with layers of ripe tannins that are balanced and polished. Savory finish. Incredibly polished and refined. Goes on for minutes. One of the finest Smith-Haut Lafittes I have tasted. Drink after 2024.

WS 97
Wine Spectator

Ripe and seductive, with a caressing wave of cassis, plum puree and blackberry compote flavors that hold sway throughout, but not without support from enticing savory, licorice, warm loam and mineral accents along the way. Cashmere finish lets everything sail on and on. Gorgeous. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2040.

WE 97
Wine Enthusiast

This wine offers rich licorice and blackberry flavors as well as freshness. It has structure and power while also showing fruitiness and acidity that offer poise. The wine’s longterm future is assured. Drink from 2026. Organic and biodynamic. Cellar Selection

RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, aged in 60% new barriques, the very deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte bursts onto the scene with showy scents of crème de cassis, mocha, licorice and cedar chest, followed by suggestions of baked plums, smoked meats, tar and tobacco leaf. The medium to full-bodied palate brings sophistication to all that flamboyant fruit with a beautifully styled frame of finely grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing bright and fruity with loads of minerally sparks. This is a stunning, singular style that is sure to turn heads! Rating: 97+

V 95
Vinous

The 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte was very impressive in barrel, and now in bottle, it delivers. Wonderful precision on the nose, subtle at first but unfurling with each swirl of the glass, revealing scents of blackberry and crushed stone, iris petals like before, and maybe a touch more violet. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tension and good structure. This is a very tight Smith Haut Lafitte, and even affording it 3–4 hours of decanting, it remains more reserved vis-à-vis recent vintages. It eventually offers plenty of black fruit, black olives, a light marine influence and a pinch of cracked black pepper on the sturdy finish. An outstanding Smith Haut Lafitte, given the vintage. Drinking window: 2023 - 2050

D 94
Decanter

There is plenty of white pear and white peach going on here along with a creaminess through the palate. As it opens it begins to show citrus and honeysuckle, with everything held together by a grip that builds and gathers momentum. Beautiful balance overall, with a prickle of bitterness on the finish giving focus and contrast. 50% new oak. Harvested 24 August to 17 September - the longest white harvest at SHL (three weeks in total, compared with one week normally, because they were harvesting early in some parts of the vineyard to keep acidity in half the grapes and other plots a little later for texture, so composing the blend from the start). Drinking Window 2021 - 2036

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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, France
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Winery Image

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.

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MCF520668_2018 Item# 520668

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