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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 / The year 2001 is known as the year of the winegrowers. The whole of Bordeaux suffered from a lot of rain and the resulting noble rot. Sauternes has been producing its best wines for decades, and there is good reason to talk about the Sauternes revolution. The best wine of the year is clearly Yquem. Parker's hundred-point Yquem sold for 300 euros en primeur, and today the price is 600 euros per bottle.
For red wines, the year was difficult. Cabernet Sauvignon, thanks to its thicker skin, did better than Merlot. The cold, rainy and cloudy growing period caused the grapes to ripen too slowly. The areas had to work more intensively. The grapes were rather small and produced concentrated wines. Latour can be considered the best buy. Good buys also include Ausone, Pétrus and Le Pin.
Sauternes Vintage Report: Rapid appearance of botrytis on ripe grapes, rich in sugar. Ideal October: brief rainstorms, high temperatures, windy and sunny afternoons. Very sweet but balanced wines with pronounced noble rot and remarkable complexity. A memorable year and very uniform success for all liqueurs.