x
  • Country ranking ?

    298
  • Producer ranking ?

    7
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Grilled Beef Tenderloin with roasted bellpeppers, Aged Cheddar & Roasted venison

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 50 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.

Read more
Close

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).

 

Read more
Close

Vintage 2019

BORDEAUX 2019 VINTAGE

When I was visiting Bordeaux early March, Corona was a threat on the horizon and France has been more concerned by a strike of the air traffic control. However, I was travelling to Bordeaux and had the chance to get some first insights to the 2019 vintage. I was very much looking forward to the “en primeur tastings” which were scheduled for March 26, 2020 but the tastings were cancelled mid-March. Immediately I contacted the different associations and wineries in Bordeaux and asked for samples.

The result was a small number of wines which arrived in Essen before the shutdown of France made shipments rather difficult. These first samples of the vintage 2019 were tasted under pristine conditions to assure a fair and equal assessment of all qualities. In fact, the samples proved right the opinion of some of Bordeaux’ leading figures. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005.

Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and also in quantity. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production.

Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market. In fact, the start of this vintage was very positive. Enough precipitations during winter were retained by soils like chalk and clay. Vineyards on these water retaining soils had a huge advantage in the future growing period. With exception of a wet June, the vintage has taken advantage of a rather dry climatic condition, which prevented diseases in the vineyards to a huge extend. No chance for powdery or downy mildew. Even the heat waves were not really harming the vines as rain set in, always at the last moment but still early enough to prevent massive water stress and a slow-down of the maturity. The late physiological maturity brought a lot of alcohol, but the wines show more freshness as in the previous years.

Fabien Teitgen, Winemaker of Smith-Haut-Lafitte relates this freshness to the good acidity “due to cool night temperatures during the ripening period”. This fact is also good news for white wines. „They are the big surprise “, says Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier.

At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.” Same samples made their way to Essen and I have tasted them. Some more samples are announced and will hopefully arrive during the current week. There will be a weekly update of my tasting notes, whenever samples will arrive.

Unfortunately, 2019 arrives in a difficult time, the Corona virus puts the world in fear and makes trade more and more difficult. Trade berries and new customs duties create a difficult frame for this vintage. However, we should not forget one thing: there are wonderful 2019s waiting for us, wines with ageing potential and charm which will survive every crisis.

Read more
Close

Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

Be the first one to make a 20s tasting note!

Written Notes

59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 
Black almost to the rim. Smells dark, rich and inviting. Intense, pure cassis. Just a touch of oaky sweetness and char. Deep, dense, full and yet fresh. The tannins are quite thick at the moment but they are smooth and polished for a long life. Notable freshness even with all this depth of fruit and firm structure. Great balance already. Long, too. (JH)

  • 91p

This is a solid red with a compact, tight palate of black fruit and currants, as well as very pretty, powerful yet polished tannins. This shows finesse with structure.

  • 97p

The 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte soars out of the glass with regal intensity and stature. A wine of depth and textural resonance, the 2019 has a lot to offer. Naturally, today the 2019 is about potential more than anything else, and yet all the elements are so impeccably balanced. Dark and racy, with real energy, the 2019 is impressive. Lavender, mint and sage linger on the persistent finish.

  • 96p

Smith Haut Lafitte – 59% Cabernet Sauvignon + 36% Merlot + 4% Cabernet Franc + 1% Petit Verdot, 60% new oak. Great, great effort with everything just awesome. Intense, sophisticated, refined, strong backbone, great complexity and depth and great balance. Velvety texture and long, lingering finish. 97+p.

  • 97p

The blend this year is 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 17th of September to the 10th of October. The wine is aging in French oak barriques, 60% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte is downright hedonic on the nose, rolling sensuously out of the glass with notions of warm cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, Black Forest cake and black raspberries with nuances of cinnamon toast, lilacs, camphor and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate juxtaposes remarkable energy and brightness with densely packed, rich, ripe black fruits, framed by wonderfully ripe, finely grained tannins and fantastically invigorating freshness, finishing long with mineral-tinged fireworks. Stunning!  96-98+ points

“It is difficult in Bordeaux to have both high acidity and good ripeness,” began Château Smith Haut Lafitte’s technical director, Fabien Teitgen. “But this year you have both. Cool nights preserved the acidity nicely. Overall, 2019 was cooler than in 2018. We have the impression that 2019 was hot, but it was generally cooler. The wines are fresher and brighter. 2018 is powerful, but 2019 has intensity.” As an organic grower, Smith Haut Lafitte was one of the châteaux that got hit hard in 2018 with the mildew. “In 2018, we lost half the crop,” Teitgen confessed. “In 2019, we had no problems, in fact. The yields were normal for us.” “We have the opposition of two weather systems during the growing season,” he went on to say. “The first part—June / July—was warm and dry. Our young vines had a bit of water stress at the end of July. Then in August and September, we had cooler temperatures.

At the beginning of August, I had a map of the vineyard showing the depth of the roots. It was clear that the old vines with deep roots did much better.” Technically speaking, Tietgen noted that the acids were a bit higher in 2019. “The quantity of tannins is very similar to 2018,” he said. “But the texture is different. We had a strong synthesis of tannins, small berries—no need to extract too much, just wait with the infusion.”

Smith Haut Lafitte’s 2019 red may not have quite the same “wow” factor as the 2018, but I suspect that because of its increased freshness and slightly brighter style, there are many consumers who will actually prefer the 2019. The 2019 SHL Blanc is  story though—wow-o-WOW that is goodanother

  • 98p

The 2019 Smith Haut-Lafitte was cropped at 36hl/ha, undergoing manual pigeage and maturation in 60% new barrels for a planned 18 months. It has an intense, very pure bouquet with blackberry, briary and cherry compote and a hint of black olive tapenade in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins that frame the pure, mineral-infused black fruit. Undercurrents of graphite and black olive surface towards the complex finish that I feel is less opulent but maybe more sophisticated than recent vintages of this top performer. Very elegant and refined, this is an outstanding success for winemaker Fabien Teitgen and his team. Tasted twice including samples direct from the château. 96-98 points

  • 98p

Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black core. Opulent nose with expressive fruit, ripe blackcurrants, juicy plums and hints of black cherries in the background. Discreet spiciness, fine toasting aroma and a slight hint of flintstone in the background. On the palate excellent structured, firm yet ripe tannins, aromatic depth and excellent length. A great wine with freshness and class. (Tasted on march 20, 2020)

  • 97p
Load more notes

Information

Origin

Martillac, Bordeaux

Highlights

Latest news

WINERY NEWS Cloudy Bay / Cloudy Bay defies NZ shortage to release two new Sauvignon Blancs Despite confirmed shortages of   more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Anthony Barton, Legendary Bordeaux Winery Owner, Dies at 91 / A dashing figure for decades in the wine trade, he raised châteaus Léoville Barton and Langoa Barton to iconic status
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Gérard Basset Foundation announces 14 funding grants to fuel diversity in the wine industry / The Trustees of the Gérard Basset Foundation have awarded funding grants to 14 institutional and community partners to fund diversity wine education programmes after raising over £1,200,000 at the Golden Vines awards ceremony and related auctions.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Harlan Estate and BOND appoint Kerry Wines as China distributor / Napa Valley icon Harlan Estate and BOND, pet project of Harlan’s owner Bill Harlan, have announced a partnership with Kerry Wines to be their distributor in China.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 BEST CHAMPAGNES 2022 / by Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook.com
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines / At the conclusion of a momentous year for Sotheby’s Wine, our London team is delighted to present our final auction before Christmas with: 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS The top traded wines in 2021 / by Liv-ex
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Champagne’s best year to date / Despite a slightly diminished share of trade, 2021 has been an excellent year for Champagne.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS The Fine Wine Market in 2021 / All previous records set in 2020 have been broken and surpassed in 2021, marking the most successful year ever for the secondary fine wine market.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 7.12.2021 / 100 BEST CHAMPAGNE 2022 LIST by CHAMPAGNE MAGAZINE
WINERY NEWS Château Rieussec / The art of Metamorphosis Imagining the consumption of Sauternes by positioning it as an accompani  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS France has smallest harvest since 1957 / his would be the third consecutive year where the global production level is below average
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Château Mouton Rothschild unveils the label for its 2019 vintage / illustrated by Olafur Eliasson
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Angélus and Cult Wines explore NFT trend / An emerging trend in the collectibles market has made further inroads in wine via the release of a ‘non-fungible token’ linked to a barrel of Château Angélus 2020 and a digital artwork of the St-Emilion estate’s famous golden bells.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Experimental Harlan's Napa red launches in Hong Kong / A red Cabernet blend, created by Domain H. William Harlan, and not originally intended for sale, will debut in Hong Kong through leading wine importer Omtis Fine Wines.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Vega Sicilia Moves into Rías Baixas / .
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Record-Breaking Wine Sale At 2021 Hospices De Beaune Auction To Fight Against Female Violence And Breast Cancer / With a new auctioneer, the historic event sold barrels of 2021 Burgundies to raise $15.3 million for health care and women's charities
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS New Zealand vintage 'exceptional' but down 19% / The quality of the 2021 vintage has been described as "exceptional" throughout New Zealand’s wine regions, although the harvest was smaller than hoped for, according to New Zealand Winegrowers
WINE NEWS: Brut Premier NV (10's) / Louis Roederer Launches its Replacement for Brut Premier with Collection 242 NV Louis Roederer Re  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 2021 The Penfolds Collection / by Andrew Caillard, MW

Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.
Incorrect Information
If you found some information that is wrong, let us know
Are you sure you want do delete this wine? All information will be lost.
Are you sure you want to recommend this wine?
Are you sure you want hide this written note ?
Are you sure you want show this written note ?

HOW TO USE TASTINGBOOK?

We recommend you to share few minutes for watching the following video instructions of how to use the Tastingbook. This can provide you a comprehensive understanding of all the features you can find from this unique service platform.

This video will help you get started



Taste wines with the Tastingbook


Create Your wine cellar on 'My Wines'



Explore Your tasted wines library



Administrate Your wine world in Your Profile



Type a message ...
Register to Tastingbook
Register now, it's fast, easy and totally free. No commitments, only enjoyments.
  Register
BWW 2022

BWW 2022 - Who is the Best Wine Critic of the World?

Wine Professionals and wine lovers from all around the world choose, who is most reliable and influential wine critic in the world.

 

VOTE NOW YOUR FAVOURITE WINE CRITIC!

 

BWW - Best Wine of the World -Competition is the largest wine competition in the world, whether measured by the number of wines, the number of consumers involved or the judges taking part.