x
  • Country ranking ?

    863
  • Producer ranking ?

    26
  • Decanting time

    -
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Salads

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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 White?

About our style, I would say that either you love our wines or you hate them. But be careful, if you do love them, it is for life… Our style is quite special, even paradoxical.
We have 90% of Sauvignon Blanc in our blend, however this proportion is almost unidentifiable on a blind tasting because of the age of our vines, the slopes ploughed by horses for more than 14 years on which they grow, the north exposure and all these details producing late maturity that will give our wines expression and complexity.

We also have a secret weapon: 5% of Sauvignon Gris. This forgotten yet complex grape variety brings different levels of aromas: first grapefruit, then peach, apricot and flowers, and a fresh minerality at the end. This kind of grape variety helps as well the wine age beautifully, adding spicy notes on the finish.

Which vintage of your Château white wine do you prefer?

This question is indeed very difficult... We often think that the latest babies are the best... If you ask my husband Daniel, he will choose 2010 and 2011, sharp as diamonds, of great precision, with high levels of acidity and freshness, very pure fruits, faithful to our terroir of Günzian Gravel... If you ask me, I prefer 2000, 2005 and 2009, because these vintages have a rare structure with great density and roundness in the palate. On blind tastings, almost nobody can recognize its 90% of Sauvignon Blanc. I find very interesting to compare our Château Smith Haut Lafitte white with a carafe of Bâtard-Montrachet of the same vintage for instance. The 2009 is very promising; it has a lot of everything and nothing of excess…

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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

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Written Notes

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak, 50% new, within which it will age for 12 months on lees with bâtonnage before spending a further two to three months in tank. It prances out of the glass with vivacious notes of lime blossoms, Golden Delicious apples and green mango, plus hints of coriander seed, shaved ginger and wet pebbles. The medium-bodied palate possesses lovely harmony even at this nascent stage, featuring bright apple and citrus flavors with soft acidity and a chalky finish.

“The first part of the year was aquatic,” commented Winemaker Fabien Teitgen. “The vines began to grow very early, on March 8th. But after we had good flowering. There was some mildew, but there was not too much damage. Because we are organic and biodynamic, we can only use very little copper mixed with plant infusions. This is the phytotherapy part of biodynamics. We try lots of things and we keep what works. When you are certified, you have to work very fast, even on Saturday and Sunday. Our workers live close by and are very dedicated. "We were not so much impacted by the drought. It’s true, the summer was very dry. But the first part of the year gave water to store in our deep clays. The second part of the year was very sunny and warm. Even where our clay is five to six meters down, this gave us the ability to continue the ripening process. We have an early terroir with this storage of water. We ended harvest before the end of September. "The Cabernet berries were very small—we would have liked to have had a little more juice. By the time we were picking the Cabernet, the rains came. There was no bursting (of berries) for us. The timing of the water was good. Then, we had to be very careful with the extraction—there was a lot of tannin. So, we did much less pigéage. There is no press wine in the blend this year. "It was really a great pleasure to do this vintage. The grapes were very expressive straightaway of the wines. The aromas in the winery were incredible.” It is clear from tasting the range of wines from Smith Haut Lafitte that they were indeed situated in a sweet-spot location and possessing just the right sort of terroir to hit the absolute heights of greatness this vintage has to offer, with all the hurdles skillfully managed by Teitgen and his team. These wines are truly breathtaking. Bravo!

  • 96p

Full bottle 1,355 g. Cask sample taken 22 April. 90% very ripe Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris. Harvest started 20 August but only ever until 11 am. Then they stopped to wait for acid levels to drop a little. Plot-by-plot picking. 45 parcels in 11 ha. 50% new oak. Pioneer of biodynamics and sustainability in Bordeaux.
Hugely seductive nose as usual. None of the obvious skinniness of Sauvignon Blanc. This is rich yet tangy on the nose and tastes as though it has quite a portion of Sémillon in the blend. Lanolin richness on the nose. Some richness on palate entry gives way to really fantastic vibrancy on the palate. Very much in the house style and a real triumph. Hint of mint. Already pretty gorgeous. Long.

  • 91p

Bright yellow colour with green hue. Expressive and multi-layered nose, ripe peaches and apricots, fresh  grapefruit and grapefruit zest, discreet flowery touches in the background. subtle oak with hints of vanilla, fine toasting aroma  and mild spices. On the palate expressive flavour, crisp acidity and savoury character, multi-layered fruit with grapefruit zest, tropical fruit and hints of Buxus, aromatic herbs, rich with excellent length and depth, a textbook Smith Haut-Lafitte 

  • 97p
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Information

Origin

Martillac, Bordeaux

Other wines from this producer

Château Cantelys

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Casher

Hauts de Smith Blanc

Le Petit Haut Lafitte

Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc

Les Hauts de Smith

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