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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2014

Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • WE97
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  • RP93
  • JD93
84% ABV
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5.0 1 Ratings
84% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% each of Semillon and Sauvignon Gris

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Dense and beautifully ripe, this is a rounded rich wine. It focuses on the tropical yellow-fruit spectrum. That gives a full wine with wood-spice hints and just the right amount of citrus acidity to give it a lift. Drink this finely structured wine from 2023.
JS 96
James Suckling
Clear and vivid with sliced lemons and green apples on the nose. Flows through to a medium to full body, tangy acidity and a long and delicious finish. Give this super white at least two or three years to come together in the bottle.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
This is long and almost lush in feel, with creamed peach and yellow apple fruit taking the lead, but there's plenty of verbena, honeysuckle and star fruit notes imparting lift and cut. A long finish of quinine and mirabelle plum imparts length. A beauty. Drink now through 2023. 2,500 cases made.
D 93
Decanter
Highly successful across both colours in 2014, this has so much character and grip that there is still plenty to love. Firm varietal definition, but with a touch lower acidity than some whites in this vintage as picked late to balance acidity levels. Great persistency, lots of pleasure ahead.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc is now more expressive than when I tasted it from barrel. It offers engaging scents of citrus fruit, Mirabelle and orange pith that gradually gathers intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, finely tuned citrus fruit married with Clementine and yellow plum, seguing into a spicy finish that lingers in the mouth. It is a delicious, complex Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc that should age well over the next 12-15 years.
JD 93
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2014 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc doesn’t have the weight of it younger brother, yet is still gorgeous on all accounts. Caramelized limes, citrus oil and exotic floral notes all emerge from this fresh, lively 2014 that has good concentrated and notable acidity. I love its texture, it’s impeccably balanced, and should cruise for a decade or more, although there’s no harm drinking today.
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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 White Blends

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

TON1722_14_2014 Item# 142901