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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

  • JS98
  • WE98
  • JD98
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • D94
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 98
James Suckling
This is very dense and deep with glorious fruit and a creamy textured, very long finish. A superb young white. Energetic yet textured. Lots of sliced-lemon, lime and apple character with some cream. Top.
Barrel Sample: 97-98
WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
This well-rounded wine offers flavors of ripe yellow fruit, apple and pear, with bright acidity to balance. The texture, concentration and intensity linger on the finish. The wine will age well.
Barrel Sample: 96-98
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck

The grand vin is the 2018 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, which is mostly Sauvignon Blanc with 5% each of Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris, that’s being brought up in 50% new French oak. Deeper, richer, yet still racy and vibrant, it has gorgeous notes of tart pineapple, crushed citrus, salty minerality, and white flowers. Rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied, it's unquestionably one of the whites of the vintage. Barrel Sample: 96-98.

WS 97
Wine Spectator
Already very full in feel, with alluring tangerine, verbena, orange blossom, bitter almond and brioche notes. Long and lush, this is coming together in a hurry and is set to be one of the showier wines of the vintage.
Barrel Sample: 94-97
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Smith Haut Lafitte 2018 Blanc is composed of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris, aging in 50% new oak barriques. It features intense scents of lime leaves, pink grapefruit, white peaches and green mango with hints of yuzu, lemon meringue pie, crushed rocks and coriander seed. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with energetic citrus and stone fruit layers, with a satiny texture and bold freshness, finishing long and mineral laced.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
D 94
Decanter

You can feel a touch more ripeness here than in some years but they have beautifully captured flavours of fleshy yellow pears, freshly cut herbs and some slate and saline minerality. This should manage a long life and I am surprised here, as with a few whites this year, by the grip and sense of fun in the wine. It's not quite the 2017 again, but has its own claim for attention. 50% new oak. Technical director Fabien Teitgen said he started picking early because he was worried about losing acidity, but found it was actually much better than expected. 28hl/ha yield. Drinking Window 2022 - 2036. Barrel Sample: 94

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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, 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.

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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.

BTYF520670_2018 Item# 520670