Tropical and juicy on the nose with pineapple, apricot and baked vanilla. The palate is glossy, rich and opulent, with the ripe fruit and sweet spices of oak giving a supple and plush mouthfeel. The acidity refreshes the palate on the finish, taming the more exuberant elements of the wine, leaving a smoky but harmonious impression.
|Score: 16.5+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
The 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc was taken directly from tank. According to winemaker Fabien Teitgen it will be bottled in December 2019, a sufficient time to obtain the definition he seeks. It has a tightly wound bouquet that feels very closed at the moment, touches of pressed white flowers intermingling with granite and green apple scents. The palate is very well balanced with fine definition. This feels saline in the mouth with quite penetrating acidity (pH 3.15), a white Pessac-Léognan that gets the saliva flowing, with a pretty green apple and dried apricot finish. Very promising. 2022 - 2040
|Score: 92/94||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
The Smith Haut Lafitte 2018 Blanc is composed of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris, aging in 50% new oak barriques. It features intense scents of lime leaves, pink grapefruit, white peaches and green mango with hints of yuzu, lemon meringue pie, crushed rocks and coriander seed. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with energetic citrus and stone fruit layers, with a satiny texture and bold freshness, finishing long and mineral laced.
|Score: 94/96||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
This is very dense and deep with glorious fruit and a creamy textured, very long finish. A superb young white. Energetic yet textured. Lots of sliced-lemon, lime and apple character with some cream. Top.
|Score: 97/98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is gorgeous. One of the more pure, crystalline wines of the year, the Blanc is airy, lifted and very pretty. Time in the glass brings out attractive textural richness and creaminess in the lemon peel, floral and mint notes, with light tropical overtones that develop on the finish. In 2018, the Blanc is a wine of real brilliance and class. Tasted two times.
|Score: 91/94||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris, 5% Sémillon. Barrel sample.
Lots of oak creaminess on the nose, sweetly spiced. The oak is a little dominant on the palate at the moment, yet it gives richness and depth. At this early stage there is a sweet/sour element that needs time to calm down or mesh. The lemon and grapefruit flavours are almost too intense so that the finish is just a little uncomfortable, almost spicy in its piquancy. Mouth-watering finish. Needs a lot of time. (JH)
|Score: 17+||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
The grand vin is the 2018 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, which is mostly Sauvignon Blanc with 5% each of Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris, that’s being brought up in 50% new French oak. Deeper, richer, yet still racy and vibrant, it has gorgeous notes of tart pineapple, crushed citrus, salty minerality, and white flowers. Rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied, it's unquestionably one of the whites of the vintage.
|Score: 96/98||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
You can feel a touch more ripeness here than in some years but they have beautifully captured flavours of fleshy yellow pears, freshly cut herbs and some slate and saline minerality. This should manage a long life and I am surprised here, as with a few whites this year, by the grip and sense of fun in the wine. It's not quite the 2017 again, but has its own claim for attention. 50% new oak. Harvested 24 August to 17 September, by far the longest ever at SHL. Technical director Fabien Teitgen said he started picking early because he was worried about losing acidity, but found it was actually much better than expected. 28hl/ha yield.
Drinking Window 2022 - 2036
|Score: 94||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
(90 Sauvignon Blanc, 5 Sauvignon Gris, 5 Semillon) | 50% new oak Taken from mostly older vines (60+ years), this brings much more intensity and depth to the whole. The breadth of flavour here is staggering and the acid is crystalline and electric. There is some power here and some weight, too, and yet it still manages to give the illusion of being light on its feet. This will age for a very long time, given the quality of the acidity and the completeness of the oak integration.
|Score: 18.5+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|