x
  • Country ranking ?

    2 771
  • Producer ranking ?

    18
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

The Story

Each Château has its own style.  / What would be, according to you, the specificities of Château Smith Haut Lafitte Red?

The style of our red wine is very classic, with a beautiful expression of our terroir of Günzian Gravel which gives unique smoky notes. We pursue elegance and structure, freshness and complexity, balance and richness.
Our majority of Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested at full maturity and softly vinified to extract only the silkiest tannins, unveils after proper aging its full potential for years long.
The other grapes variety of our vineyard, the Merlot, the Cabernet Franc and the Petit Verdot add to the Cabernet Sauvignon their own aromas and participate in the typical harmony of our Cru Classé de Graves.

Which vintage of your Château red wine do you prefer?

Such as the whites, it is very difficult to pick a vintage among others, as every occasion and every meal will enlighten a specific vintage.
In my opinion, our 2000 red is a wine I would not doubt in comparing with the greatest reds from both banks. It has everything, except maybe some more years…
Another vintage we particularly cherish is the 2003, because despite the heatwave that affected the region, our early terroir allows us to harvest grapes at perfect maturity before they “cook” over the sun. Therefore we have a charming wine, whose freshness of aromas trouble the tasters at every blind tasting.
However I must say that we reached the zenith of our great reds with two legendary vintages: 2009 and 2010, though these two vintages have very little in common! 2009, my favorite, is powerful, charming, round and very “charismatic”… 2010, my husband’s favorite, is a beautiful classic, that expresses perfectly our Gravel terroir, with notes of black fruits, mineral finish and incredible Caudalies (the unit that measures length of wine flavors in mouth).

 

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Vintage 2000

At Château Smith Haut Lafitte, we implement the traditional viticulture techniques such as earthing-up the vines or horse ploughing of the fragile and sharp plots of white vine. We totally banished any chemical product and favor organic methods to fight against the various dangers that threaten the vine: mating confusion of the grape berries moths with pheromones, use of the typhlodromus mites which are the natural predators of the red spider mites and prevention of the grey rot thanks to the bacillus subtilis that naturally prevents the development of the botrytis, among other processes.

We enhance the vine growing cycle with organic compost made of vine shots left over from pruning, grape pomace and manure from cows and horses. This natural fertilization system improves soils living quality. We strengthen as well the fauna diversity of the vineyard through a hedge plantation program of more than 500 meters per year and the implementation of several beehives.

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Tasting note

color

Deep

flavors

Toasty and Honey

nose

Complex

taste

Dry

Written Notes

The weather in the year 2000 was full of surprises. Just before the year began, in December 1999, hurricane-force gales devastated many parts of Bordeaux, but fortunately spared our vines and cellars. A much more pleasant surprise was the excellent Indian summer that ripened grapes to perfection. Weather during the 2000 growing season was characterised by extremes and contrasts. The variations in temperature and humidity obviously had a major effect on the vines. Flowering occurred homogenously, a week later than normal. Cool periods were followed by hot, dry weather, especially in August, which had the highest average temperatures in the past 25 years. 

The outstanding weather during the Indian summer enabled us to pick perfectly ripe and healthy grapes. We started picking the young Merlot vines on September 22nd 2000. We then went on to harvest plots of old Merlot and Cabernet vines on the Smith Haut Lafitte plateau starting on September 25th 2000. In order to attain optimum concentration of phenolic compounds, we decided to interrupt harvesting for a week. We started up again on October 9th with the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Thanks to well-timed leaf thinning, even ripening, and perfectly healthy grapes, we had no trouble picking the grapes at our leisure at just the right moment. 

For the first time in ten years, we harvested without any rain, which leads us to expect an outstanding vintage

Work done on the Smith Haut Lafitte vatroom this past summer has made it possible to double the capacity of fermenting wines in small lots thanks to the installation of 80 hectolitre wooden vats. The first Merlot grapes came in with more than 13° potential alcohol and have finished fermenting. The wine is currently being left on the skins, and the colour is already quite deep. The tannins are powerful, yet silky. We finished bringing in the Cabernet grapes two days ago, and they have just started fermenting. They have thick skins, very good sugar levels, and pips as black as coffee beans. 

(Magnum) Ruby, garnet rim. Flinty smoky nose, bell peppers and cassis, barely developed. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, structured and layered, wait another five years, long. 92
  • 92p

Information

Origin

Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Highlights

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