x
  • Country ranking ?

    250
  • Producer ranking ?

    7
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2025
  • Food Pairing

    roasted Beets with Goat Cheese

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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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Wine Information

The mild, rainy winter favoured early bud break in early March. The rise in temperatures in April allowed the vines to grow. A rainy episode in early May triggered mildew pressure, which was subdued by the work of the vineyard teams. The development of the vine (flowering, veraison) was rapid and homogeneous. The summer conditions, marked by heat and drought, caused water stress at the end of July. The harvest, which began on August 20 for the whites and on September 9 for the reds, was among the earliest in the history of the property. The ripe red grapes produced were dense and consistent in quality. Small in size, the berries displayed a thick skin, rich in concentrated tannins and boasting a lovely aromatic freshness.

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Vintage 2020

In Bordeaux, the heat resulted in early flowering. Also, this led to an early harvest after a very hot summer. As a starting point, there is great maturity in the grapes, and one can expect a more opulent vintage than in the last few years.

The summer this year has been the warmest since 1959, yet the rain has fallen at the right times during the growing season. The harvest took place two weeks before the norm and will yield grapes with high potential alcohol and the lowest acidity since the 2003 vintage. As they say in Bordeaux: "It has been a good and extreme growing season which hopefully also produces great wines".

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

15 tasting notes

Tasting note

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Written Notes

Cask sample. After a reasonably restrained nose, there is beautifully pure cassis fruit that really lingers on the palate. Rarely for 2020, this is a wine that clearly needs time to bring more expression to the nose. It's all there on the palate, but entirely nascent. A long-haul wine. (RH)

  • 90.5p

So much blackcurrant, graphite and iodine character. Full-bodied. Incredible quality to the tannins. They are polished yet powerful. It’s so long and complete with such depth and toned muscles. Vertical. Very fresh and energetic. Will it be better than the famous 2015? Maybe the best ever. From organically grown grapes. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

  • 100p

Smith Haut Lafitte - lots of aromatic blackcurrants and black cherries on the nose, powerful on the palate with a strong backbone, big concentration, multilayered and with great length. Long, long finish. Impressive effort. 96-97p.

  • 97p

Full bottle 1,355 g. Cask sample taken 22 April. Harvest started as early as 9 September until 30 September. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 60% new barriques. Pioneer of biodynamics and sustainability in Bordeaux.
Mid crimson. Nuanced, complex nose suggests masses of ripeness and intense aromas. Interesting dried-bay-leaves note on the nose followed by some slight leafiness. Rich, polished palate – structured juiciness. Then pretty dry on the finish – not quite as luscious on the palate as the nose suggests. Masses of sandy-textured tannins on the finish. Will need lots of time.

  • 90.5p
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Information

Origin

Martillac, Bordeaux

Other wines from this producer

Château Cantelys

Château Cantelys blanc

Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc

Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Casher

Hauts de Smith Blanc

Le Petit Haut Lafitte

Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc

Les Hauts de Smith

Les Hauts de Smith rouge

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