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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…


Vintage 2020

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

This year's summer was the hottest since 1959, but the rain fell at just the right time during the growing season. The harvest took place two weeks before the norm and will produce grapes with high alcohol potential and the lowest acidity since the 2003 vintage. As they say in Bordeaux: “It was a good and extreme growing season which , hopefully, also produces great wines.”


Tasting note

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Written Notes

Château Smith Haut Lafitte White 2020 - The Cathiards' 30th vintage.
My saviour wine. Just when a bitter taste post-antibiotic for double pneumonia seemed to blight my impressions of all wines, this was the first wine that seemed free of it and gave me hope that my palate would be restored. I first tasted it on 22 Feb (last dose of antibiotic was 12 Feb) and kept retasting over subsequent days to check that I wasn’t kidding myself (high-acid whites generally seemed worse affected than full-bodied reds). Smoky-oaky nose and lots of fruit impact on the palate with masses of refreshing acidity too. Flatteringly satin texture with real pungency and interest on the end. Great balance. Just the right side of the oiliness that can dog some white wines from this appellation.

  • 91p

90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris.
Richer and more spicy on the nose than Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte 2021. The oak showing in a mealy creaminess. Deep and complex in both texture and sour-citrus leesy flavour. Intense and so fresh. Great length, chewy finish.

  • 91p

The wine is pale yellow. The nose is already very expressive with notes of yellow fruits (peach, apricot), white flowers (acacias, orange blossom), and a beautiful elegance of citrus fruits. The aromatic on the palate is similar to the one on the nose with yellow fruits, floral notes, and we perceive a greater complexity with more mineral, spicy notes while flint stones give the signature of our great terroir.

2020  Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc Pessac-Léognan With the pop of grapefruit, white peach, lemon peel, flowers, orange rind and honeysuckle in the nose, and a creamy, sweet, fresh, juicy, slightly honeyed, lush, white peach and citrus finish, you have all the ingredients needed for a luscious, white Bordeaux wine. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. 97  Pts

  • 97p

Smith Haut Lafitte white – deep and classy on the nose, fresh pineapple, lemongrass and citrus, crispy with tension on the palate, fine acidity and intensity, persistent finish. 95p.

  • 95p

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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Martillac, Bordeaux

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