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Owned by former Olympic skiers the Cathiards, SHL is one of the oldest known wine producing properties in Bordeaux. Backwards, dense and coiled. Very fine tannins surround a core of dense, juicy, intense plum and blackcurrant fruit, balanced by a gentle herbal freshness. There is fine, white stone minerality underneath, bringing a freshness, energy and excitement. The finish releases more raspberry and floral characters - over all it's a very impressive wine. - April 2018
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte charges out of the gate with bold expressions of warm redcurrants, baked blackberries and crème de cassis with hints of spice cake, dried roses, underbrush and pencil lead plus a waft of candied violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a fantastic core of densely packed red and black fruits, framed by wonderfully ripe, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed. LPB
The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte has an open and expressive bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, pressed iris petals mixed with subtle marine notes, iodine and seaweed. It is not as powerful as the 2018 but it is nicely focused. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp tannins and vibrant black fruit. There is superb energy towards the graphite and mint infused finish. There is a lot of energy in this 2017 that actually renders it quite approachable, though I would prefer to leave bottles down in the cellar for several years. www.vinous.com
This has a good core of dark plum and blackberry fruit, with a twinge of licorice snap mixed in. A hint of bramble on the finish, with the vintage’s refined, fresh acidity as well. - James Molesworth, winespectator.com, April 2018
Wonderful depth of fruit here with blackberries, wet earth, mushrooms, dark chocolate and violets. Full-bodied, tight and poised with polished and compressed tannins. Consistent finish. Linear and focused. A blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.
Smells sweet-fruited and sweetly oaky. Lovely fruit flavour on the palate – dark-red fruit – could perhaps do with just a little more fruit stuffing in the middle but this may just need a bit longer in barrel. Finishes fresh and the tannins are dry and refined. A sleeping beauty perhaps? - Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2018
The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte is easily one of the highlights of the vintage. Dense, unctuous and impeccably balanced, the 2017 exudes depth from start to finish. Charcoal embers, graphite, menthol, licorice and sage add myriad shades of nuance to the plush, unctuous dark raspberry jam fruit. This is a super impressive showing from Smith Haut Lafitte. I tasted the 2017 two times. On both occasions, the wine showed tremendous aromatic and flavor depth.
Vinous.com, May 2018
Round, deep, full-bodied, lush and with good intensity of flavor, the wine has richness and length. All of this is a good thing, so you can catch all of the smoke, tobacco, dark cocoa and black with red fruits. The finish delivers length and persistence, coupled with the ability to age.
Moving to the grand vin and a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot aged 16 months in 60% new French oak, the 2017 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is a beauty, with rocking levels of cassis and red currant fruits interwoven with hints of dried herbs, salty minerality, subtle oak, and crushed violets. Concentrated and full-bodied on the palate, it has ripe tannins, a great mid-palate, and tons of charm and character. This is one of those wines that will be beautiful in just 3-4 years and yet age effortlessly for three decades. Hats off to winemaker Fabien Teitgen for a brilliant effort in the vintage.
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