Smith Haut Lafitte 2021

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Tasting Notes and Scores


Bordeaux Index

Very complex, mineral, tight nose with forest fruits, blackcurrant, wet gravel, black tea - very attractive and deep. Very fine tannins, deep, rich fruit but still balanced. Fantastic texture and energy and a real sense of mineral depth. Great purity and fine mineral on the finish. Structure is almost invisible - quite remarkable.
April 2022


Wine Advocate

A brilliant wine, the 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte offers up aromas of blackberries, violets, coniferous forest floor and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless, it's deep and impressively multidimensional, with good concentration, beautifully refined tannins and notable purity of fruit, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. The fruit of a severe selection, this blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot is testament to the Cathiard family's unwavering commitment to quality.
William Kelley, April 2022


Neal Martin

The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from September 22 to October 14, and matured in 60% new oak. It has an open, expressive bouquet of blackberry, freshly rolled tobacco and subtle crushed rock aromas, well-defined though obviously not as flamboyant as the previous three vintages. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh and mineral-driven, with fine tannins, a touch of chalkiness, and hints of seaweed on the estuarine finish, even though it lies a few kilometers from the Gironde! Classic in style, and maybe a little austere for some on the finish, yet it feels long in the mouth. Fabien Teitgen and his team have overseen a superb Smith Haut-Lafitte, even though I suspect that it will not reach the heights of the 2010 or the 2016. Neal Martin, Vinous, May 2022


James Suckling

Lots of clove, black-licorice and cigar-box character. Already perfumed. Medium body with fine, chalky and precise tannins. Lead-pencil shavings. Well framed and structured with a fresh, lengthy and spicy finish. Extremely long and intense. 63% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. From organically grown grapes.
May 2022


Jancis Robinson

Dark crimson. Some ripe red fruit on the nose. Polished tannins and there is energy here. This sample seems to have a more convincing core than yesterday’s sample tasted at the château. Good level of interest and detail here. Even if the level of acidity is higher than usual and the tannins obviously took some taming. Sweeter than some.
Drink 2028 – 2042, May 2022


Antonio Galloni

The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte is fabulous. Rich and explosive in the glass, the 2021 possesses tremendous intensity, much of that the result of low yields of just 20-22 hectoliters per hectare, about half of what is typical here. The tannins are a bit firm today, but there appears to be more than enough fruit behind all of that structure. Vivid aromatics further suggest all the 2021 needs is time. I can't wait to see how it ages.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, May 2022


Jane Anson

This is a cool climate savoury vintage where the best wines offer clarity of flavour and precision, and you are given a masterclass here in how to do that effectively. Well balanced and succulent architecture, plentiful blackberry, cassis and black cherry fruits, cracked pepper, sage, liqourice, crushed rock, campfire smoke, elongated tannins. This will fatten up over ageing, because has all the elements in place to ensure it does so gracefully, the triumverate of tannins, acidity and fruit. Harvest September 22 to October 14. 60% new oak. 23hl/h yield.
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux, May 2022