|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
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.
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A brilliant wine, the 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte offers up aromas of blackberries, violets, coniferous forest floor and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless, it's deep and impressively multidimensional, with good concentration, beautifully refined tannins and notable purity of fruit, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. The fruit of a severe selection, this blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot is testament to the Cathiard family's unwavering commitment to quality.
The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from September 22 to October 14, and matured in 60% new oak. It has an open, expressive bouquet of blackberry, freshly rolled tobacco and subtle crushed rock aromas, well-defined though obviously not as flamboyant as the previous three vintages. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh and mineral-driven, with fine tannins, a touch of chalkiness, and hints of seaweed on the estuarine finish, even though it lies a few kilometers from the Gironde! Classic in style, and maybe a little austere for some on the finish, yet it feels long in the mouth. Fabien Teitgen and his team have overseen a superb Smith Haut-Lafitte, even though I suspect that it will not reach the heights of the 2010 or the 2016.
The 2021 here is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby colour. Plush vanilla spice, nutmeg and clove come together with brambly, juicy fruit on the nose. Smoky, ripe fruit lead the palate but firm, sandy tannins slowly take over. This is a structured, firm Smith Haut Lafitte, a different style to the recently seductive and ripe vintages here. Cool blackcurrants and riper, steeped berries push through on the finish to bring a little more of the usual character, but the pithy tannins endure.
Lots of clove, black-licorice and cigar-box character. Already perfumed. Medium body with fine, chalky and precise tannins. Lead-pencil shavings. Well framed and structured with a fresh, lengthy and spicy finish. Extremely long and intense. 63% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. From organically grown grapes.
The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, aging in 60% new oak. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a little swirling before it bursts with vibrant black cherries, fresh blackberries, and blackcurrant cordial scents, followed by hints of violets, star anise, and cedar chest. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers a great density of fresh black fruits and earthy layers, framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and compelling freshness, leading to a long finish with a spicy kick on this very impressive wine. At 22 hl/ha, yields are less than half of 2019 and about half of 2020, with 1/3 of the crop going into the Grand Vin this year.
This is a cool climate savoury vintage where the best wines offer clarity of flavour and precision, and you are given a masterclass here in how to do that effectively. Well balanced and succulent architecture, plentiful blackberry, cassis and black cherry fruits, cracked pepper, sage, liqourice, crushed rock, campfire smoke, elongated tannins. This will fatten up over ageing, because has all the elements in place to ensure it does so gracefully, the triumverate of tannins, acidity and fruit. Harvest September 22 to October 14. 60% new oak. 23hl/h yield.
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
Dark crimson. Some ripe red fruit on the nose. Polished tannins and there is energy here. This sample seems to have a more convincing core than yesterday’s sample tasted at the château. Good level of interest and detail here. Even if the level of acidity is higher than usual and the tannins obviously took some taming. Sweeter than some.
Drink 2028 – 2042