Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2017
#81 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2020
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, 10% Semillon
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is fabulous white with sliced apples, pears, stones, flint and light cream. Really incredible. Full-bodied, yet so tight and polished with superb finesse and density at the same time. A fantastic Smith white. A blend of 90% sauvignon blanc, 5% sauvignon gris and 5% semillon. Drink or hold.
One of the whites of the vintage is the 2017 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, which is based on 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% each of Sauvignon Gris and Semillon. Offering a huge, salty, mineral-laced bouquet of crushed lemons, acacia flowers, pineapple, and crushed rocks, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, racy acidity, a stacked mid-palate, and a crisp, chiseled, lengthy finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It has the fruit and texture to drink nicely even today, yet my money is on it benefiting from 2-4 years of bottle age, and it should have over two decades of longevity.
The 2017 Blanc prances out of the glass with pretty, cheerful scents of fresh green apples, lemongrass, lime leaves and white peaches plus spicy touches of fresh ginger, coriander seed and white pepper. Medium-bodied, the palate has fantastic intensity and tension, with a racy backbone cutting through the tightly knit citrus and spice layers, finishing long and mineral laced. Rating: 97+
This wine is distinct in its texture, with a mere hint of spice from wood. What makes it special is the harmony among perfume, acidity, texture and superb fruit. The wine finishes with a touch of saltiness. It needs plenty of time, don’t drink before 2022.
Juicy energy ripples from start to finish, with gooseberry, yellow apple, chamomile, tarragon and verbena notes giving this a tangy and flattering character. Reveals a long salted butter edge on the finish. Lovely now, but will fan out and become plumper with time. Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris. Best from 2021 through 2030.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
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.