2019 chateau smith haut lafitte, rouge cru classe, pessac-leognan
Why We're Buying
Bo Jackson. Donald Glover. Château Smith Haut Lafitte. Whatever they try, they excel. In the case of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, it’s a master of red and white wine. The red blend has a grand cru classé rating and is the third most sought-after wine from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, according to Wine-Searcher.com.
In a line of great white wines from this estate, here is a superb vintage. It has all the richness of ripe fruit, but that has been channeled into structure, density as well as intense acidity and freshness. All the signs are this wine will age for a long, long time.
The aromatics are highly seductive, the texture silky and round, tannins relatively soft as they were in 2018, but lots of them, layering up one on top of the next. Violet rim around the edge, all the signs of an excellent quality En Primeur sample are here. Not quite as lush as the 2018, a little more like the 2016 in structure at this stage, boding well for the future. Refined in style with cassis and blueberry - good focus and concentration. Tasted twice, three weeks apart, and both times seriously impressive. 60% new oak, 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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!
The grand vin 2019 Château Smith Haut Lafitte comes from the heart of the Léognan region and beautiful, gravelly soils. Deeply hued, it's a slightly fresher, more structured wine and has beautiful crème de cassis and almost hints of blue fruits as well as classic Graves gravelly, damp earth, unsmoked tobacco, graphite, and spice. Beautifully done, with full-bodied richness, a great mid-palate, and both vibrant acidity and ripe tannins, it's going to need a solid 7-8 years of bottle age but will be a classic, world-class expression of this terroir.
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.