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Smith Haut Lafitte 2019

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Daniel and Florence Cathiard transformed this property in the early 1990s and have been making very individual, sexy wines since then which combine flavours of classic earthy Graves with silky and seductive new oak from barrels produced by their in-house cooper. The 67 hectare vineyard is planted with 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and the remainder Cabernet Franc.

Also available in the following mixed case:

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Smith Haut Lafitte


Tasting Notes

Intense blackberry and graphite character coming out of the glass, together with dried violets, ink and some asphalt. Full-bodied with wonderfully integrated tannins that spread across the palate and then draw you deep into the wine. Lead-pencil and blackcurrant aftertaste. Tightly wound with a cashmere-like texture. A whole and thought-provoking wine. Try after 2028 and beyond.

#1 French Wine of the Year 2022

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2022

Sink into this concentrated, textured, creamy wine, full of liqourice, blueberry, cassis and black cherry fruits, then let the pencil lead, cigar box and campfire notes spiral upwards out of the glass as it opens. Clearly shows why the signature acidity of Bordeaux, even in the best vintages, is just so welcome - it gives focus and a taut, confident feel through the core of the wine, and clearly suggests how well it will age. 60% new oak. Tasted in September last year, same impression of an exceptional wine. In organic conversion, Fabien Teitgen technical director, harvest from September 17 for the reds.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, April 2022

The 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte has turned out very well indeed, unwinding in the glass with a complex bouquet of dark berries, cassis, forest floor, pencil shavings, licorice and spices. Full-bodied, broad and velvety, it's layered and elegantly muscular, underpinned by rich structuring tannins and lively acids, and it concludes with a long, expansive finish. This is another estate where the viticultural and stylistic evolutions of the last decade have delivered a beautifully balanced, harmonious 2019. Drink Date
2026 - 2055

William Kelley, RobertParker.com (April 2022), March 2022

Certified organic in 2019. 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The 2019 is quintessential Smith Haut Lafitte that followers should buy with confidence. Deep ruby in colour with highly refined and enticing nose of polished black fruit and a little sweet red cherry. The fragrant aromatics are laced with sweet but well measured spice. The palate is glossy, with silky black fruit at the core. Super fleshy but highly refined, the spice and succulence is perfectly judged. There is enough bite and savoury depth to leave a moreish, harmonious impression of fruit despite the opulent vanilla and sweet wood smoke on show. The tannins are perfectly judged, ripe and fine but ample for long-term ageing. Precise and moreish in equal measure, an excellent effort.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, November 2021

The 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte is deep garnet-purple in color. It jumps from the glass with bold notions of warm plums, juicy blackberries, and fragrant soil, plus hints of baking spices, lilacs, and Ceylon tea. The full-bodied palate has muscular fruit with a firm texture of grainy tannins, countered by lively acidity, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2023

Tasted blind. Good freshness and a certain sinewy, mineral quality that strikes me as quintessential Graves. Drive, and something that really spreads across the palate. 14.5%
Drink 2028
– 2044

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2023

59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot.
Black almost to the rim. Smells dark, rich and inviting. Intense, pure cassis. Just a touch of oaky sweetness and char. Deep, dense, full and yet fresh. The tannins are quite thick at the moment but they are smooth and polished for a long life. Notable freshness even with all this depth of fruit and firm structure. Great balance already. Long, too. (JH) 14.5%
Drink 2030 – 2045

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, December 2021

Smith Haut Lafitte was certified organic in 2019 and are also practicing biodynamically. The harvest of red grapes took place from 17th September to 10th October. The 2019 is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine will be aged in 60% new French oak. Deep ruby in colour with a sappy, smoky nose of cedar, incense and dark cherries. The palate is opulent and glossy, with generous levels of sweet vanilla, wood char and tobacco interlaced with fleshy black fruits and milk chocolate. The tannins are bold and build on the finish, tempering the sweet wood and ripe fruit. Long and heady.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, May 2020

Reminding me a little of the 2009, the 2019 Château Smith Haut Lafitte has a rich, powerful style in its cassis, blueberry, and black raspberry fruit as well as its chalky minerality, smoked earth, tobacco, and lead pencil shaving-like aromas and flavors. A blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, this rich, unctuously textured beauty has terrific concentration, sweet tannins, and the vintage's hallmark elegance and finesse. One of the most concentrated, powerful wines in the vintage, it needs 4-5 years of bottle age (or a healthy decant) and will evolve for 30+ years if stored properly. Not enough can be said about what proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, as well as winemaker Fabien Teitgen, continue to achieve at this estate.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, April 2022
Read more tasting notes...

The 2019 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge comes from terroir composed of 60% gravel and 40% clay and is a blend of around 2/3 Cabernet Sauvignon and 1/3 Merlot with a splash of Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs considerable swirling to unlock notes of blackcurrant preserves, stewed plums, and juicy blackberries, with hints of candied violets, licorice, espresso, and tapenade, plus wafts of crushed rocks and wood smoke. Full-bodied, rich, and opulent in the mouth, it has very firm, super-ripe, fine-grained tannins and bold freshness to support the voluptuous, mineral-accented fruit, finishing very long and achingly perfumed.

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

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.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2020

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!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (2019 Borde), June 2020

Sumptuous, seductive and extremely poised. This inches forward with layers of bitter chocolate, smoked caramel, liquorice root, fresh mint leaf, rosebud and black truffle. Behind all this sits caressing, slate-filled tannins that give real grip to the palate. Within 15 minutes of opening you feel even more volume in the mid palate, before things close in towards a mouthwatering salinity on the finish. Shows why Le Petit Smith Haut-Lafitte is so exceptional in this vintage. Full of signature Smith Haut Lafitte gloss, but this is also a serious wine that will reward ageing. 60% new oak.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, January 2022
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.