59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
James Suckling: 99
Intense blackberry and graphite character coming out of the glass, together with dried violets, ink and some asphalt. Full-bodied with wonderfully integrated tannins that spread across the palate and then draw you deep into the wine. Lead-pencil and blackcurrant aftertaste. Tightly wound with a cashmere-like texture. A whole and thought-provoking wine.
98 Points Jeb Dunnuck
Reminding me a little of the 2009, the 2019 Château Smith Haut Lafitte has a rich, powerful style in its cassis, blueberry, and black raspberry fruit as well as its chalky minerality, smoked earth, tobacco, and lead pencil shaving-like aromas and flavors. A blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, this rich, unctuously textured beauty has terrific concentration, sweet tannins, and the vintage's hallmark elegance and finesse. One of the most concentrated, powerful wines in the vintage, it needs 4-5 years of bottle age (or a healthy decant) and will evolve for 30+ years if stored properly. Not enough can be said about what proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, as well as winemaker Fabien Teitgen, continue to achieve at this estate.
Thanks to its 55 hectares of superb gravelly vineyards, Smith Haut Lafitte is often referred to as the "archetypical Graves." The estate's history goes back to the Crusades, and a Scottish navigator, George Smith, who became the owner of the estate in the 18th century. He was followed by M. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux, and then Louis Eschenauer, a famous wine shipper.
In 1990, Daniel and Florence Cathiard also fell under the spell of this beautiful estate. Since then, they have restored the 16th century tower, renovated the 18th century manor house, built two underground cellars, went back to traditional vine growing methods without chemical herbicides and set up their own cooperage. The perfect elegance, excellent balance and fine structure of Smith Haut Lafitte's red and white wines are the ultimate reflection of the current owners' total commitment to quality.