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    from 2018
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The 2015 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sauvignon Blanc matured in 50% new oak. It has a crisp, conservative bouquet, tightly wound at first, reticent even, though with a couple of minutes' swirling, it reveals intense fresh lime flower, pink grapefruit, guava and blood orange scents. The palate is extremely well balanced with a silver bead of acidity, a dab of sour lemon than cleanses the mouth, followed by pink grapefruit, citrus lemon and green apple notes towards the long finish. This is another outstanding white Smith-Haut-Lafitte from winemaker Fabien Tietgen and the famille Cathiard.

Score: 94/96

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

A beautiful white with pretty density and richness. Bright and clear with intense aromas and flavors of lilacs and stones. Some violet. Full and bright. Firm phenolic tension. Bright acidity.

Score: 96/97

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

The 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is powerful and intense, but also incredibly young at this stage. There is notable density and persistence throughout, but just like the red Grand Vin, the aromatic dimension in the wine has not yet developed. The wine's length and overall density are both impressive. Here, too, the en primeur samples were less expressive than the wines were when I tasted the separate lots from barrel in January 2016. With a bit of air, the flavors start to brighten and bristle with pure energy. The blend is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris

Score: 92/95+

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

The mix of citrus fruits is fresh the nose bright but it fills out in the middle rich ripe pineapple a hint of apricot the sweet fruit underpinned by lime freshness. Light and floral on the back palate the finish long with a mix of fresh fruits.

Score: 91/93

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

Picked over a period of three weeks to achieve extra complexity, this is a delicious white blend, combining stone fruit opulence with saline acidity, smoky oak and mouth-coating texture. It’s at the riper end of the spectrum in 2015, but has plenty of freshness, too. Drink: 2017-30

Score: 94

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

Ploughed by horses for the last 15 years. They still have eight horses, boasted winemaker Fabien. 'Too many,' muttered co-owner Florence Cathiard. Fabien stopped skin maceration about four years ago to make the wine last longer. Broad and rich. Perfumed. Quite rich. Long and broad. Drink 2018-2025

Score: 17

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016

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The Story

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

About our style, I would say that either you love our wines or you hate them. But be careful, if you do love them, it is for life… Our style is quite special, even paradoxical.
We have 90% of Sauvignon Blanc in our blend, however this proportion is almost unidentifiable on a blind tasting because of the age of our vines, the slopes ploughed by horses for more than 14 years on which they grow, the north exposure and all these details producing late maturity that will give our wines expression and complexity.

We also have a secret weapon: 5% of Sauvignon Gris. This forgotten yet complex grape variety brings different levels of aromas: first grapefruit, then peach, apricot and flowers, and a fresh minerality at the end. This kind of grape variety helps as well the wine age beautifully, adding spicy notes on the finish.

Which vintage of your Château white wine do you prefer?

This question is indeed very difficult... We often think that the latest babies are the best... If you ask my husband Daniel, he will choose 2010 and 2011, sharp as diamonds, of great precision, with high levels of acidity and freshness, very pure fruits, faithful to our terroir of Günzian Gravel... If you ask me, I prefer 2000, 2005 and 2009, because these vintages have a rare structure with great density and roundness in the palate. On blind tastings, almost nobody can recognize its 90% of Sauvignon Blanc. I find very interesting to compare our Château Smith Haut Lafitte white with a carafe of Bâtard-Montrachet of the same vintage for instance. The 2009 is very promising; it has a lot of everything and nothing of excess…

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Written Notes

Smith Haut Lafiite – monster, great stuff, impressive acidity and complexity, rich and sophisticated. Very impressive indeed. 96p
  • 96p
Bright yellow with green hue. Elegant and expressive nose, citrus fruit, grapefruit and tangerine, hints of mint and buxus, elegant spiciness, vanilla and discreet oak spices. Roasting aroma in the background. On the palate well structured with juicy fruit, ripe acidity, great depth and excellent length.
  • 95p



Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

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