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Smith Haut Lafitte 2020

Label
RegionBordeaux
SubregionPessac-Leognan
ColourRed
TypeStill
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.

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

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
Bordeaux2020Smith Haut LafitteBT12 \ 0 1441,260.001298/100 LPB144140100.0098.00Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge0.7510
Bordeaux2020Smith Haut LafitteBT62 \ 012630.00698/100 LPB12140100.0098.00Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge0.7510
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Tasting Notes

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte makes an impactful entrance, opening with flamboyant notes of blackcurrant pastilles, chocolate-covered cherries and molten licorice, leading to nuances of ground cloves, woodsmoke, crushed rocks and dusty soil. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with opulent black fruit preserves and shimmering mineral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe and fantastically firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epically long-lasting earthy and savory layers. This is the singular voice of Smith Haut Lafitte at its finest, and wow-oh-wow is it worth a listen. This 2020 has an alcohol of 14.5% with a pH of 3.65. The tannins this year were a little higher than 2018 and 2019. A little less than a third of production went into this grand vin.

98/100
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021

So much blackcurrant, graphite and iodine character. Full-bodied. Incredible quality to the tannins. They are polished yet powerful. It’s so long and complete with such depth and toned muscles. Vertical. Very fresh and energetic. Will it be better than the famous 2015? Maybe the best ever. From organically grown grapes. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

99/100
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2021

Powerful on the attack, dense and concentrated at first then brighter on the retro-olfaction with layers of spice, liquorice and flowers. Intense but beautifully precise, with iris and peony aromatics coming in strongly as it opens in the glass. A ton of nuance and complexity, really takes its time, delivering a masterclass in restrained Pessac glamour. Average yields 30hl/ha for the reds. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak. Harvest started on September 9 - 30.

Drinking Window 2030 - 2050

97
Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021

Full bottle 1,355 g. Cask sample taken 22 April. Harvest started as early as 9 September until 30 September. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 60% new barriques. Pioneer of biodynamics and sustainability in Bordeaux.
Mid crimson. Nuanced, complex nose suggests masses of ripeness and intense aromas. Interesting dried-bay-leaves note on the nose followed by some slight leafiness. Rich, polished palate – structured juiciness. Then pretty dry on the finish – not quite as luscious on the palate as the nose suggests. Masses of sandy-textured tannins on the finish. Will need lots of time.
Drink 2029 – 2045

17+
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

The 2020 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine will be aged for 18 months in 60% new french oak barrels from yields of 30hl/ha. Three quarters of the vineyards here are now biodynamically farmed - the remainder will follow in the next year. Harvest began on 9th September, which is the third earliest on record. All the fruit was in before the end of September. Deep ruby-purple hue. The nose is fragrant with violet and sweet plum, but also accented with exotic cinnamon and anise from the oak. The palate is very refined, with juicy red fruit to the fore. Underneath there is an edge of cassis too. The tannins are ultre refined, giving a cashmere texture. There is real persistence to the fruit, suggesting good potential once the oak fully integrates.

93/95
Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2020

(65% CS, 30% M, 4% CF, 1% PV; 40% GV; 14.5% ABV; 60% new)
Crisply red and blackcurrant ripe; elegant and beautifully contained within its large scale, wears its alcohol with great ease. Long, refined, and complex, aromatic, elegant, complete, and impressive, a beautiful performance. And remains very Graves in its gravelly, minerally character. A sort of finer 2010? Lovely. 2028–40+.

93/94
Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
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.