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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).
Bordeaux 1959 was proclaimed wine year of the century by overzealous journalists. Although it was a great year, it just wasn't the best year of the century. The year started with ideal weather conditions. The summer was perfect until the fall, when the rains arrived in mid-September. But the rains gave way to hot and dry weather, preparing a magnificent setting for the start of the harvest. The result was a truly ripe and juicy harvest. Reds are generally full-bodied, with mild acidity and an oily mouthfeel that comes from the high alcohol content. Although the vintage is generally compared to 1961, it has much in common with the 1949. The Sauternes vintage was also a success and the region produced very long-lived wines. Once again, Château Lafite-Rothschild was a complete success, sharing the title of best wine of the vintage with Haut-Brion. Hot on their heels are Pétrus, which must be decanted for at least three hours before drinking, and La-Mission-Haut-Brion.