Price:  £175.00 | Case Rate: £175.00

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte - Smith Haut Lafitte 2009

Information

  • Country: France
  • Wine Region: Bordeaux
  • Wine Maker: Daniel and Florence Cathiard
  • Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
  • Grape Percentage: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot
  • Alcohol Percentage: 13.50
  • Unit Quantity (ml): 750
  • Best To Drink: 2016-2030
En Primeur
Bin End Limited Stock: (4 btls)
WA: 96 to 98 (2009) VS: 92 to 95 (2009) JR: 16 (2009) WS: 95 to 98 (2009) D: 18 (2009) CK: 17.5 to 18.5 (2009) NM: 94 to 96 (2009)

Wine tasting notes

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte produces reds that are medium bodied, well structured, well rounded and soft in style with gentle tannins and moderate acidity. The wines have flavours of ripe blackberries, liquorice and toasted oak.

Winery Information

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Smith-Haut-Lafitte is a good example of the wave of reinvestment and revitalisation that some Bordeaux estates have experienced in the latter years of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Tastings of these vintages, both white and red, have demonstrated that there are now very good wines produced here...

Expert Reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2009)96 to 98 pts

Wine Advocate # 188. Apr 2010. Reviewer : Robert Parker. One can’t say enough about what proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard have accomplished at this estate since 1990. Regrettably, I am old enough to remember how horrible the wines were before the Cathiards purchased the property. They have fashioned one of the most consistently outstanding wines, both white and red, over the last two decades, and their 2009 probably eclipses any previous performance. An opaque purple color is followed by an explosive nose of graphite, black currants, licorice, incense, and a hint of black tea. The wine hits the palate with extraordinary density, unctuosity, and richness, yet it never comes across as heavy or overbearing. Deep and full-bodied with sensational concentration as well as remarkable purity and precision, this brilliant wine possesses the high, but sweet tannins that are a hallmark of the vintage, and exceptional delicacy allied to massive power and richness ... a rare combination indeed. This prodigious effort should drink well for 30-40 years. Bravo! (Tasted five times.) Drink: 2010 - 2050.

Vinous/Antonio Galloni (2009)92 to 95 pts

May/Jun 10. By Ian D'Agata. Deep ruby-purple. Aromas of smoky plum, blackberry syrup, cinnamon and canele (a Bordeaux specialty made from a caramelized batter containing rum and vanilla) are very ripe but not exaggerated, and nicely lifted by floral and mineral topnotes. Very fresh in the mouth, with almost delicate but very deep flavors of dark berries, cedar and minerals. Finishes long and pure, with noticeable saline and grapey nuances. This highly successful wine manages a tricky balancing act between superripeness and just the right amount of freshness; in fact, this seems almost understated to me even though it boasts a extremely high IPT of 100 and possesses outstanding depth and substance. It also relies much less on oak for weight and structure than a couple of recent vintages, and therein lies a good measure of its success. Should be one of the red wine stars of '09.

JancisRobinson.com (2009)16 pts

Published : 07-Apr-2010. Moderate and rather cool and intriguing on the nose. Some sweetness at first and then slightly inky. The tannins are far from the most supple but they just about do the trick without being too drying on the finish. Just a little bit gawky, and there’s some alcohol on the finish. When to drink : 2016 to 2026.

Wine Spectator (2009)95 to 98 pts

Updated: April 15, 2010. Clean. Blackberry and lightly toasted oak with coffee and cedar. Full-bodied and a very, very powerful structure. Blockbuster. Massive and dense, yet remains agile. A triumph for this estate. ?J.S.

Decanter (2009)18 pts

Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, 18 pts - "Dense red, fine rich and wonderfully succulent and briary wild fruits nose, rich, robust vineyard fruit with internal spice, energy and depth. Drink 2016-30.

Chris Kissack (2009)17.5 to 18.5 pts

Chris Kissack, thewinedoctor.com, 17.5-18.5+/20pts - "A very dark and creamy wine with a bright cherry red-pink hue at the rim. The nose suggests lovely fruit concentration, very delineated and fresh, but plainly also rich and ripe. Dark in character, although with good floral tones. Lots of lovely substance on the palate, presented in a firm and bold style, with extracted tannins which dominate the palate. It has a good sense of balance though, with a layer of sweet but crunchy dark fruits alongside, and good acids too. An impressive wine full of character with really good potential."

Neal Martin (2009)94 to 96 pts

Neal Martin, erobertparker.com, 94-96pts - "Tasted at the chateau. Picked between 25th September and 17th October, 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot cropped at 32 hl/ha, this has a very sleek, well defined bouquet, very pure with dark berried fruits, just a hint of coca and dark chocolate powder. Very focused, very linear at the moment but developing a lovely saline/estuarine character towards the finish. The palate is full-bodied with very silky tannins, harmonious, sensuous, very good weight and acidity, layers of ripe black, coca-tinged fruit with a sense of nonchalance and self-assured swagger towards the finish. Very pure, very long on the finish, leaving the mouth tingling with pleasure. This is a very assured Smith Haut Lafitte. Tasted April 2010."

Vinification Notes

The white grapes are pressed, then cooled during settling, whereas the reds go straight to alcoholic fermentation; this is temperature-controlled, ten degrees cooler for the whites than the reds, with the red wines spending up to 32 days macerating. The white wines are fermented in 13 small stainless steel vats, the red in 18 80-hectolitre tronconic oak vats which replaced the steel vats in 2000. Having said that, in 2003 the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon saw a more Burgundian approach, with fermentation and élevage in small barrels. The cap is submerged three times daily, and there is also pumping over, all under the supervision of technical director Fabien Teitgen and with the consultation of Michel Rolland and Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon. Once finished both wines undergo malolactic fermentation in oak, followed by the élevage, the red up to 20 months, with 50-80% new barrels, the white 12 months in 50% new barrels, with bâtonnage.