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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: After four miserable vintages came the hot vintage of 1975 which put Bordeaux wines briefly into the limelight once again. The unsettled temperature in September turned into good weather for the harvest. Grapes were high in sugar content, but for many reds especially Cabernet Sauvignon based ones were lacking of phenolic ripeness. This yielded masculine and even aggressive reds with austere and even hard tannins.
Graves and Pomerol wines have proved to be the most delicious from this year. La Mission Haut-Brion and Lafleur-Pétrus stand out as the best ones, with Trotanoy just after them.Pétrus has proven to be the very exceptional with more aggressive and full-bodied style than usually. The Lafite-Rothschild at the reasonable price of 300 euro is the first seventies Lafite that gives a promise of improvement. On the other hand Haut-Brion considered very good has proven to be a slight disappointment.
For dry whites this was outstanding and Sauternes an excellent vintage. The best Sauternes experiences have been Yquem, Coutet, Gilette and Suduiraut.