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This is an extraordinary performance once again from the Cathiard family, the proprietors of Smith-Haut-Lafitte. They think the 2010 is even better than the 2009. (I disagree, but only slightly.) This wine has laser-like definition in its an remarkable nose of a subtle charcoal fire interwoven with spring flowers, creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur and spicy wood. Full-bodied, stunningly concentrated, long, rich and moderately tannic, this wine is set for an exceptionally long life of 30-40 years but can be drunk in 5-7. Drink: 2018 - 2058
-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #205 Feb 2013
2010: A qualitative home run, right up there with the profound 2005 and more opulent 2009, Smith-Haut-Lafitte has turned in a remarkable performance in this vintage, but then again, so have many other chateaux. A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the wine has an inky/purple color and an extraordinary nose of graphite, blackberries, cassis, licorice, smoke, and camphor. The unbelievable skyscraper-like texture, stunning purity, and formidable intensity make for a remarkably rich, long, full-bodied wine that is classic Graves, but at the same time a staggering 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035+.
Tasted at the Union de Grand Cru in London. The 2010 Smith Haut-Lafitte has very fine delineation on the nose with intense black cherry, raspberry and slightly meaty aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy, edgy tannins. It has a lovely spicy, almost peppery seam running from start to finish. It is quite compact, much more reserved than I recall out of barrel, but the oak is seamlessly integrated and it is incredibly long. Tasted November 2012.
With a pH of 3.62, the Grand Vin is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the bouquet is very intense and focused, stricter than the 2009 last year with blackberry, a touch of cassis and a hint of boysenberry. Fine delineation, the mineralitÃ© beginning to emerge after one minute in the glass. One is immediately struck by the almost citrus-like freshness on the entry, tight at first but then fanning out beautifully across the mouth towards the wonderfully structured finish that has more tension than it knows what to do with. Very persistent, very long. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Tasted April 2011.
Cru ClassÃ© Pessac-LÃ©ognan (13.5-14%) [64CS/30M/5CF/1PV] Dense to smell, ripe black fruit and a dense minerality too; rich, elegantly balanced, finely firm in tannin, fresh to vital in acidity; long, complex and minerally behind the juicily ripe fruit; firm but fine long term tannins framing this generously proportioned Graves, and a long, aromatic finish. A lovely plenitude without excess, and considerable finesse given its generous proportions. A fine expression of this very â€˜particularâ€™ year. Lovely SHL. 2010-30+ [M.Schuster, Bordeaux Mar/Apr 2011]
Gorgeous, with alluring black tea and warm ganache notes that unfurl slowly, while the core of intense steeped plum, anise, blackberry compote and black currant confiture sits patiently in reserve. The beautiful loam-, tobacco- and tar-filled finish displays major heft, but also remarkable polish and grace. Should age very slowly. Best from 2018 through 2035. 9,000 cases made, 1,800 cases imported. — JM
Full ruby-red. Very ripe yet precise nose offers blueberry, black raspberry, violet, spices and sexy dried herbs; still a bit youthfully medicinal but already showing a lot of personality. Rich, pliant and hugely deep, with near-chocolatey ripeness to the highly concentrated dark berry, tobacco and spice flavors. This wonderfully broad, seamless, layered wine dusts the palate with ripe tannins and leaves the mouth perfumed. Built for a long life in bottle but balanced from day one: it's more bound-up today than the silkier and more voluptuous 2009 but I would not be surprised if this one eventually surpassed its younger sibling.
Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and plums follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a fruity finish. Lots of mushroom and fruit undertones. Very polished. Such finesse yet structure to this young wine. Better in 2007.
-www.jamessuckling.com, 'Tasting Report: 2010 Bordeaux "More Great Vintage"', 3 Feb 2012
This is showing better than ever. It's lush, opulently textured, intense, yet with a good purity of fruit and elegant, silky tannins. Still young, the wine is inky dark in color, with a primary character, but the last few years have helped the wine fill out and expand. This is about potential, but it's clear that this is going to be something special when it matures.
The 2010 vintage at Smith Haut Lafitte was one of the wines that woke me up to what was happening at this estate, and it is absolutely delivering today. Very much coffee beans and black chocolate; it is on the gourmet side but with layers and freshness by the bucketload. Accomplished, confident winemaking and a showcase in winemaking precision. Great stuff, cassis, blueberry; blackberry, juicy and vibrant. Drinking Window 2020 - 2048
Tasted by Jane Anson (at BI London, 30 Jan 2020)
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