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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • RP98
  • JS97
  • WS97
  • D96
  • JD94
  • TA93
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc with 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon, the Smith Haut Lafitte 2017 Blanc offers up gorgeous, super-intense scents of pink grapefruit, white peaches, kumquats and ginger with wafts of under-ripe pineapple, lime blossoms and crushed rocks. Medium-bodied, it's very polished, sophisticated and wonderfully electric in the mouth, with sparks of citrus fruits, tropical notions and floral perfume exploding on the palate, finishing with epic persistence.
Barrel Sample: 96-98+
JS 97
James Suckling
This shows serious density and beauty with fantastic complexity and dimension. Full-bodied yet so fresh and beautiful. Layered and tight at the same time. Exciting to follow this one.
Barrel Sample: 96-97
WS 97
Wine Spectator
Tight, but with a lot to like, from the yellow apple, white peach and star fruit core to the extra brioche, straw, honeysuckle and verbena nuances that weave throughout. Shows weight and drive on the finish. A beauty.
Barrel Sample: 94-97
D 96
Decanter
A sophisticated, grown up white with the most beautifully placed savoury white peach flesh, shadowed by lime and tea leaves, and enclosed by slate. The fresh tension stands head and shoulders above many wines in this vintage. It's full of personality, zip and complexity, and is clearly going to age beautifully.
Barrel Sample
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
The Grand Vin 2017 Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc is a beauty that offers loads of clean, vibrant, pure fruit. Possessing medium-bodied richness, lots of salty minerality, and classic notes of lychee, lime, and exotic citrus, it has the freshness and purity of the vintage, and backs it up with rock solid depth and weight.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
TA 93
Tim Atkin
Warm, and some oak already showing on the nose. Rich lime and gooseberry fruit flavours, cream, honey and toast. Rather complex and delicious. Deeply flavoured and balanced. Really good.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

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Chateau 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.

BTYF422888_2017 Item# 422888