x
  • Country ranking ?

    680
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

The 2015 Smith-Haut-Lafitte is adorned with a special label to celebrate the 650th anniversary of the château and the 25th vintage made under the ownership of Daniel and Florence Cathiard. It is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, picked between 23 September until 12 October with the Cabernet Franc. Matured in 65% new oak (although technical director Fabien Teitgen mentioned that he could have added more if he felt it would benefit), it has a very intense, blueberry and crème de cassis scented bouquet, a touch more opulent than its peers with hints of freshly shucked oyster shell developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin couched in gorgeous, satin-textured black cherry and cassis fruit, tinged with cedar and pencil shavings. It lingers very long and sensually in the mouth, completing a sophisticated and powerful Smith Haut-Lafitte that should age in splendid fashion.

Score: 95/97

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

This is a very polished and precise young wine with beautiful depth and intensity. Full and sexy. It shows blueberry and black currant character with walnut and chocolate undertones. The tannins have a lovely texture. Joy to taste.

Score: 97/98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

The 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte is superb. Dark, powerful and towering, the 2015 exudes richness and a level of intensity in all directions that is remarkable. This is an especially dark, brooding Grand Vin built on serious depth, intensity and structure, and yet there is more than enough richness in the fruit to balance things out. The extreme heat of the year appears to have baked out some of the aromatic nuance. It will be interesting to see if that dimension opens up. For now, the 2015 is massively shut down. Readers will have to be especially patient, as the 2015 won't be ready to drink for some time. Both en primeur samples I tasted were less expressive than the separate components were when I tasted them from barrel in late January 2016, so I won't be surprised at all if the bottled wine comes in at the top of this range. Tasted two times.

Score: 93/96+

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

Depth on the nose the palate has brooding richness layers of black fruits. Sweet and ripe in the middle fleshy and supple but there is balance with bilberry under the rich black cherry and chocolate. Sweet and ripe at the back yet the finish is stylish lighter and long.

Score: 92/95

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

Right up there with the best Left Bank reds in 2015, this is the latest in a line of impressive releases from Smith-Haut-Lafitte. Grassy, aromatic and herbal, with blueberry and blackcurrant sweetness, tangy acidity and a core of serious, well integrated tannin embellished by stylish, perfumed oak. Drink: 2025-35

Score: 96

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

New black label to celebrate the Cathiards' anniversary and that of the property. Very dark. Comfortable base and lots of perfume. Round and sweet. Tense and tight. An excitingly taut package that promises well. Drink 2024-2040

Score: 18

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 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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Latest Pro-tasting notes

13 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium

flavors

Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Blueberry, Raspberry, Cherry and Cassis

nose

Intense and Ripe

taste

Average in Acidity, Balanced, Rich, Silky, Fragrant and Silky tannins

Written Notes

Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2015 is a very dark red wine, almost black. The nose expresses a bouquet of black fruits and very freshred fruits. Through swirling, the nose appears more complex with notes of spices, cedar, liquorice associated with notes of violet and a touch of flint stone. The mouth is straightforward, dynamic, powerful, dense, classy. Tannins are concentrated, unctuous and silky. They give the wine great length and beautiful texture. We find again in mouth the crunchy and ripe fruits and an additional spicier dimension with liquorice, citron, clove and a wonderful finale of floral and mineral notes.
Smith Haut Lafitte - strong, powerful, tight, great quality of fruit and tannin, excellent structure and complexity, rich, great depth and awesome finish. Fabulous stuff. 96+p.
  • 96p
Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black core. Aromatic nose with dark berries, dark chocolate, roasting aroma, mild spices. On the palate well structured and balanced, elegant oak spices, fine toasted aroma, opulent yet elegant body and multi-layered finish, excellent length.
  • 95p
Deep colour. Fresh dark chocolate, dark cherry, with hint of musky Turkish Delight notes. Generous and supple with lovely rich dark cherry, blackcurrant pastille fruit, mocha oak and chocolaty tannins. Finishes chalky, long and juicy. Lovely richness, depth and length. Powerful yet graceful wine. Impressive wine. 97 points
  • 97p

Information

Origin

Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

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