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Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2016

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan
Grape VarietySauvignon Blanc/Semillon

11 hectares at Smith Haut Lafitte are planted with white varieties - 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. A top performer in recent vintages.

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is well defined on the nose of apple blossom, orange pith, Japanese yuzu and light crushed stone aromas, one of the prettiest and most harmonious dry white aromatics you will find in this vintage. The palate is fresh and vibrant with a lovely waxy texture. Very expressive Sémillon here, delivering great depth and reassuring complexity on the finish. This is an outstanding effort. Brilliant. 2022 - 2045

Neal Martin, vinous.com, August 2020

Fabulous aromas of white-peach pie, lemon, grapefruit and cream. Complex. Full-bodied, dense and linear. Bright and creamy texture. Gorgeous grace and complexity. Lasts for minutes.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019

The white Smith Haut Lafitte 2016 features vivacious, cheery notes of fresh lemons, lime leaves, and Bosc pears, plus hints of orange blossom and beeswax. Medium-bodied, the palate is racy and intense with a satiny texture and a very long minerally finish.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, December 2022

This grips you from the first moment, a significant and striking jump up in quality when you get to this grand vin, representing 55% of white production. Rich and controlled, this fills out on the-mid palate with lime and lemon zest, then floods it with gentle saffron spicing and grilled almonds, full of the SHL signature richness and control. Stephane Derenoncourt and Michel Rolland both consult. 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris.

Drinking Window 2020 - 2040

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017

Smells more candified than the 2017. More muted and just slightly dull at this stage though it may perk up in bottle. Some astringency on the end.
Drink 2020-2026

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2018

11 hectares at Smith Haut Lafitte are planted with white varieties - 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. A top performer in recent vintages. Lemon curd, peach compote and grapefruit on te nose, layered with hints of vanilla and smoke. Polished, complex, appetising. The palate is fat and juicy with ripe peach and pineapple, plump pears and lemon curd all bringing richness, yet brisk acidity to the mix. The oak treatment is noticeable but integrated, adding to, rather than dominating, the flavour profile of the wine. The finish is long, both sweet and savoury, and harmonious.

Farr Vintners, April 2017

The white of the vintage is the 2016 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc. It’s a magical elixir based on 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris, and 5% Sémillon that was brought up in 50% new oak. Deep, layered, and powerful, yet also vibrant, it has sensational notes of crushed citrus, liquid rock, white flower, lime pith, and honeyed grapefruit. It shows the classic, balanced style of the vintage yet offers thrilling depth and concentration and is a tour de force in white Bordeaux. Drink it any time over the coming two decades. Get it if you can! Drink 2019-2039.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2019

Mineral freshness the nose is bright the start of the palate lean spicy white pepper with underlying mineral. Richer in the middle ripe grapefruit fleshy but the mineral and citrus refresh the finish is racy and long. 2028-26

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017

Year in year out, this is close to the top of any line-up of white Bordeaux. The oak integration, as ever, is very stylishly done, adding note of toast and nutmeg to the tangy, complex, appealingly stony, pink grapefruit and pear-like wine beneath. 2018-26

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

The 2016 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc offers a complex, intoxicating bouquet of grapefruit, mirabelle and Japanese yuzu infused with crushed stone; touches of strawberry develop in the mouth. The palate is very well balanced and full of tension, and the lip-smacking acidity is very well judged. Very focused and brimming with energy right to the finish, when you request "more, please." Divine. Drink 2022-2045

Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019

The Smith-Haut-Lafitte 2016 Blanc is the classic blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon, picked from 12 to 24 September and matured in 50% new oak. It has a complex bouquet with citrus fruit, peach skin, lemon curd and a touch of lanolin that unfolds wonderfully in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a touch of wild honey on the entry. There is a spicy vein to this white Pessac-Léognan with a dab of ginger enlivening the refreshingly feisty finish. Bon vin! Drink 2021 - 2040.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

A dense and powerful white with wonderful depth and phenolic tension. Shows very pretty sliced-apple, lemon and pear character. Excellent finish. 90% sauvignon blanc with the rest semillon and sauvignon gris. Excellent follow-up to the 2015.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

The Smith Haut Lafitte 2016 Blanc is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon matured in 50% new oak. It reveals gregarious pineapple and green guava notes giving way to tantalizing fresh grapefruit and green apples scents plus wafts of orange blossom, crushed rocks and honey drizzled peaches. Medium to full-bodied with a gorgeous satiny texture, the palate is jam-packed with tropical and citrus flavors, finishing long and deliciously savory. 2020 - 2037

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim No), November 2018

Heady, spicy, deep flavoured and a great exhibition of what makes excellent dry white bordeaux distinctive and delicious. Lanolin and rich lemon syrup notes but very fresh and long on the finish. Perhaps not the most intense vintage of this wine but I would happily drink this now.
Drink 2017-2024

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.