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Owned by former Olympic skiers the Cathiards, Smith Haut Lafitte is one of the oldest known wine producing properties in Bordeaux. Tight, closed, touch of spice. Dark fruit. Energetic, supple, concentrated, powerful but with grace. Such pretty fruit, raspberry, ripe plum, real intensity. Long-term wine. (63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot.)
This vintage is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, matured in 65% new oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple, the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte has a totally dazzling nose of exotic spices—star anise, fenugreek and Sichuan pepper—over a core of chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries, plum preserves, violets and earthy wafts of truffles, moss, tilled black soil and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced and packing a lot of flavor into a relatively modest package, it fills the mouth with spice and herb-laced black and blue fruit layers, supported by very ripe, very finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length. This is already a show-stopping, heart-pounding beauty, but should also age incredibly! - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Interim Issue Mid-February 2018, The Wine Advocate
The 2015 Smith Haut-Lafitte has a detailed and focused bouquet with blackberry, cedar and freshly rolled tobacco aromas, unfurling with each swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin, taut and crisp with cedar and graphite. Unashamedly classic in style, it has impressive depth and good grip on the finish. This is destined to give a lot of pleasure. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting.
This pumps out some serious blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry and black currant fruit flavors, with the texture of compote and a racy edge thanks to a terrific bolt of graphite that runs throughout. Waves of anise, roasted apple wood and tobacco drive the finish, with the fruit keeping pace easily. Destined for a long life.
The currants and blackberries on the nose are very impressive with wet-earth and lavender undertones. Full body and super-integrated tannins that melt into the wine. The quality of the tannins is incredible with fantastic length and mouthfeel. So much concentration and balance at the same time. Such beauty. From biodynamic grapes. This is the greatest wine ever from here. Drink in 2022.
New black label to celebrate the Cathiards' anniversary and that of the property.
Very dark. Comfortable base and lots of perfume. Round and sweet. Tense and tight. An excitingly taut package that promises well.
Explosive and powerful in the glass, the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte is going to need time to come into its own. Black cherry, gravel, smoke, bittersweet chocolate, leather, licorice and savory herbs effortlessly fill out the wine's ample frame. The 2015 is an especially dark, concentrated Smith Haut Lafitte. Swaths of tannin carry the wine into a huge finish accented by hints of raspberry jam, chocolate, leather and tobacco. Today, the 2015 is more power than finesse. It will be interesting to see how things develop from here. vinous.com, February 2018
With a depth of color impossible to miss, the wine opens with smoke, licorice, blackberry, cassis, and wet forest aromatics. Rich, fleshy and concentrated with all the right stuff, the wine is ripe, sensuous, silky and polished, The finish delivers smoked fruits, ripe tannins and length of flavor, which keeps right on going. This will age seamlessly for decades. With bottle age, this could score higher, as it develops.
Another wine from the Cathiard family I was able to taste on multiple occasions is the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte and it’s brilliant stuff readers should snatch up. Offering a huge nose of chocolatey dark fruits, roasted herbs, graphite and flowers, this big, rich, opulent beauty has building tannin, loads of structure and great mid-palate. It will drink nicely for 20+ years.
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