97-98pts James Suckling
The polish, texture, complexity and patina are very impressive and fascinating. So spicy and interesting with so much going on. Medium body with wonderfully integrated tannins that are cut and nicely chiselled already. Lemon and violet. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.
96-98pts Jeb Dunnuck
Moving to the Grand Vin, the 2022 Château Smith Haut Lafitte checks in as 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. This ripe, powerful, concentrated wine reminds me of the 2010 with its structure, concentrated mid-palate, and just sheer density and regal, full-bodied style on the palate. Despite its size, it stays balanced, has a beautiful perfume of sweet black fruits, graphite, scorched earth, and spring flowers, building tannins, and a great, great finish.
The 2022 Smith Haut Lafitte is a regal, elegant wine. Succulent inky fruit, licorice, spice, lavender and mocha open in a gracious, sublime Grand Vin. Here, too, the wine’s persistence and energy are notable. The Cabernet is especially evident this year, in both the wine’s flavor profile and overall structural feel. In many vintages, the Grand Vin is more immediate and alluring. The 2022 is quite reticent.
A real success of the vintage that manages to deliver a bold, structured, concentrated and powerful wine with real terroir signature. You get the impression it’s from a warm vintage, but I love the fact you have texture, volume and weight but keeping the finesse. Fragranced black fruit and purple floral notes with soft medicinal herbal touches on the nose. Sleek and supple, tannins make the impression with juicy blackcurrants, black cherries and strawberries. Excellent tannin definition, they’re filling, massy and round, almost plush but accented by acidity and freshness. Strong signature, you know you're in gravel with Cabernet. Juicy, clean, pure, but with bite and intensity. I love the dark savoury notes too, the cough syrup, liquorice, clove, tobacco and cigar box elements, complex and captivating. 4% press. 3.65pH 30% whole bunch Petit Verdot in the blend. Potential upsore in bottle. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak barrels.
97pts Jane Anson
Inky colour, with vivid vibrant edging, curling and fragrant floral aromatics, plenty of energy from the first kick of peony and mandarin peel. The rich density of the blue and black fruits are set against slate and grippy tannins, giving textural contrast which makes it engaging, together with a saline scrape on the finish. Blueberry, cassis, ink, liquorice root, graphite, pink grapefruit, intensely expressed with a vertical rise through the palate, very much true to estate signature. 29hl/h, 3.65ph, 10% whole bunches fermentation, using a mix of full bunches and stalks that they select after destemming. 33% 1st wine, 4% press used in the blend, harvest September 5 to 30. Fabien Teitgen technical director.
94-95pts Wine Advocate
The 2022 Smith Haut Lafitte opens in the glass with attractive aromas of cassis, spices, tobacco, graphite and licorice, followed by a medium to full-bodied palate that is deep and layered, with good depth and powdery structuring tannins that assert themselves on the finish. This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot will require some patience, given its somewhat extracted style.