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  • Country ranking ?

    1 513
  • Producer ranking ?

    68
  • Decanting time

    1h
  • When to drink

    Now
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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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 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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Wine Information

As with the 1950, the 1952 also suffered from harsh tannins as a juvenile. After a long bottle maturation, this vintage has turned out to be an excellent find. The warm spring and early summer resulted in ideal germination. The hot and dry season lasted until September, which brought with it colder temperatures and rain. This change in weather dashed the hopes for what originally seemed to be an excellent crop year. Conversely, the rains did away with any fear of overly concentrated grapes.

Weather conditions at the end of the year had a pronounced effect on the slower-maturing Cabernets. Consequently, the Médoc region suffered the greatest. The Merlot-driven Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wines were able to mature very well; indeed, the finest wines of that year come from the right bank. Some excellent wines were also produced at Graves.

Because the highly tannic character of Médoc wines has softened over the decades, the wines are extraordinarily drinkable right now. The finest examples could do with additional cellaring. Château Lafleur and La-Mission-Haut-Brion are the finest wines of this vintage. The vineyard-bottled Pétrus and Trotanoy run a very close second.

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Vintage 1952

Bordeaux by Tb: The recovery after the Second World War was slow and winegrowers had many challenges to overcome. Their production facilities were in poor condition and there was no capital for investments. However, thanks to several large harvests, the period from 1945 to 1961 produced some of the most heralded Bordeaux wines ever made. 1952 is on equal footing to finish on the list of the greatest vintages of the time, among 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953 and 1959.

In 1952, the season began with a moderately warm and dry spring. The summer months from June to the end of August were dry with an average daily temperature of 20.5C. The temperature climbed above 30°C in 29 days. Unfortunately, Mother Nature turned her back on producers at the very end of the season. The rain and the cold arrived on September 4 and for example in Pauillac, it rained for 22 days. The rain partially diluted the harvest and, due to the cold, the phenolic maturity of late-ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon was left slightly short. Thus, the left bank, dominated by cabernet sauvignon, fared less well than the right bank, where early-ripening merlot dominates. On the other hand, the right bank avoided the worst rains of September and producers like Cheval Blanc with Cabernet Franc oriented wines, were able to harvest their harvest at the same time in mid-September in better conditions than their colleagues from the left Bank.

In our experience, the best wines of the vintage were Cheval Blanc, Pétrus, l’Eglise-Clinet and La Mission Haut-Brion. However, we have been amazed from time to time by the lesser known St-Emilions of this vintage. If we compare the prices versus the quality of these wines, we can conclude them as the great finds of 1950s Bordeaux that most still drink well if the bottles have been restored properly. To get the most out of these wines, be sure to decant them fifteen minutes before serving, as they do not handle air as well as the best vintages.

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Information

Origin

Martillac, Bordeaux

Other wines from this producer

Château Cantelys

Château Cantelys blanc

Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc

Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Casher

Hauts de Smith Blanc

Le Petit Haut Lafitte

Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc

Les Hauts de Smith

Les Hauts de Smith rouge

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