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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2015

Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • JS97
  • RP96
  • D96
  • JD96
  • WS96
  • WE94
13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Straight from the first nose, this wine brings us toward an aromatic palette of white fruits and flowers: citrus fruits, white peaches, pears and acacia flowers. Then aeration reveals spicier aromas of star anise and eucalyptus. After a tense and vivid attack, the mouth of concentration and power appears very well-balanced with a beautiful smooth texture. This fresh and elegant wine offers after citrus fruits some white flesh fruits, sweet spices and very complex notes of flint stones and fireplace, characteristic of our gravel terroirs.
Blend: 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
James Suckling
A beautiful white with pretty density and richness. Bright and clear with intense aromas and flavors of lilacs and stones. Some violet. Full and bright. Firm phenolic tension. Bright acidity. Barrel Sample: 96-97
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Composed of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris, the Smith Haut Lafitte 2015 Blanc has an incredibly compelling nose of ripe apricots, passion fruit, honeyed lemons and crushed stones with a hint of lime blossoms. Medium-bodied, super intense and super minerally, the palate sings of stone fruit and citrus layers with plenty of zip and zing, finishing with incredible persistence, alluring fruitiness and a savory contrast that will keep you reaching for another glass.
Rating: 96+
D 96
Decanter
Incredible intensity thanks to almost no lees stirring and no cold soaking, instead vinified on the limit of reduction – they now only stir the lees when the reductive aromas are threatening to go too far. Instead they focus on harvest date and a short but firm pressing. Whatever they are doing, it works. Huge length, sweetness, tension and density; it gives you a lovely salinity on the finish, and always that Smith Haut Lafitte flourish. This truly stands out among the 2015 whites. From a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blan, 5% Sauvignon Gris (on gravelly soils) and 5% Semillon.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
I was able to taste the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc twice and it showed beautifully on both occasions. Based on 90% Sauvignon Blanc and the balance Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris, aged in plenty of new wood, this ripe, sexy 2015 knocks it out of the park with its citrus oil, caramelized lemons, tangerine and honeysuckle aromatics. This palate doesn’t lose a beat either and is full-bodied and concentrated, with vibrant acidity and blockbuster length. I’d drink bottles over the coming 10-15 years, yet I suspect it will keep longer. It’s in the top 2-3 whites of the vintage.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Piercing and pure, with vibrant honeysuckle and chamomile flower notes followed by grapefruit, lemon and white peach flavors. The finish ripples with energy, while fleur de sel and gooseberry accents fill in. Terrific length. Best from 2019 through 2029.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Tight and firm, this young wine has great potential. The richness, good acidity and minerality promise a great future. Densely textured, it is powerful and very rich. Drink from 2024.
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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

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Château Smith Haut Lafitte, France - Other regions
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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.

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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 and Malbec.

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.

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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 intrigue. 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" called botrytis, can have lush stone fruit and honey characteristics.

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 astute 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, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce or even fried chicken.

JOTF153351_2015 Item# 153351