Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front LabelChateau Smith Haut Lafitte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Bottle Shot

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020

  • JS100
  • RP100
  • JD100
  • WE98
  • D97
  • V97
750ML / 14% ABV
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3.4 5 Ratings
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3.4 5 Ratings
750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The color of the wine is dark red, almost black with blueish hues. Very expressive on the nose with red fruits and black fruit flavors. A good swirl in the glass release a large range of flavors and spice. Star anise, licorice, as well as empyreumatic notes and flint stones. It goes very wide and powerful on the palate at first, then well-defined structure and smoothness of the wine gives all its balance, fresh and full body. The length is highlighted by a great tannic structure. On the palate, it is highly aromatic with a great fruit expression melted with soft spices, blond tobacco leaf, licorice and graphite pencil like notes.

Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Organically grown

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 100
James Suckling

So much blackcurrant, graphite and iodine character. Full-bodied. Incredible quality to the tannins. They are polished yet powerful. It’s so long and complete with such depth and toned muscles. Vertical. Very fresh and energetic. Will it be better than the famous 2015? Maybe the best ever. From organically grown grapes. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.Barrel Sample: 99-100

RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte makes an impactful entrance, opening with flamboyant notes of blackcurrant pastilles, chocolate-covered cherries and molten licorice, leading to nuances of ground cloves, woodsmoke, crushed rocks and dusty soil. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with opulent black fruit preserves and shimmering mineral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe and fantastically firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epically long-lasting earthy and savory layers. This is the singular voice of Smith Haut Lafitte at its finest, and wow-oh-wow is it worth a listen. This 2020 has an alcohol of 14.5% with a pH of 3.65. The tannins this year were a little higher than 2018 and 2019. A little less than a third of production went into this grand vin. Barrel Sample: 98-100

JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
Possibly ranking with the top two or three wines of the vintage, the 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte is a blockbuster that reminds me of a hypothetical mix of the 2009 and 2010. Based on a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple hue is followed by a monster bouquet of ripe black fruits, scorched earth, charcoal, and graphite. All of these carry to a full-bodied Pessac-Léognan with flawless balance, loads of ripe, polished tannins, a dense mid-palate, and a great, great finish. It’s one of the gems in the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Give bottles just 4-6 years in the cellar, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 20-30 years.
Barrel Sample: 97-100
WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
This is a very fine wine, packed with tannins that are rich and suspended in the wine with its smoky edge and ripe blackberry fruits. The wine is direct in its fine, fragrant freshness and in its texture that gives power and concentration. Obviously for long-term aging.
Barrel Sample: 96-98
D 97
Decanter
Powerful on the attack, dense and concentrated at first then brighter on the retro-olfaction with layers of spice, liquorice and flowers. Intense but beautifully precise, with iris and peony aromatics coming in strongly as it opens in the glass. A ton of nuance and complexity, really takes its time, delivering a masterclass in restrained Pessac glamour. Average yields 30hl/ha for the reds. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak.
Barrel Sample: 97
V 97
Vinous
The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from September 9, the yields 20% down on average due to the dry summer period, and matured in 60% new oak with no vin de presse. This actually blossomed after an hour’s opening, revealing exquisite blackberry, briar, crushed rock and light rose petal scents, very nuanced considering the growing season and the 14.5° alcohol. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a very fine line of acidity that keeps this on its tippy-toes. Disarmingly pure, its silky texture is very appealing, likewise the veering toward more red berry fruit lacked with white pepper toward the finish. This may well surpass the previous two vintages. An outstanding effort from winemaker Fabien Teitgen and his team. -Neal Martin
Barrel Sample: 95-97
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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, France
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Winery Image

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 Wine

Bordeaux, France

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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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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.

FCA746092_2020 Item# 746092

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