This is an extraordinary performance once again from the Cathiard family, the proprietors of Smith-Haut-Lafitte. They think the 2010 is even better than the 2009. (I disagree, but only slightly.) This wine has laser-like definition in its an remarkable nose of a subtle charcoal fire interwoven with spring flowers, creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur and spicy wood. Full-bodied, stunningly concentrated, long, rich and moderately tannic, this wine is set for an exceptionally long life of 30-40 years but can be drunk in 5-7.
Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Smith Haut Lafitte delivers notes of baked plums, boysenberries and dried mulberries with an undercurrent of cigar box, new leather and bouquet garni. Full-bodied, the palate has firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the maturing fruit, finishing on a stewed tea note. 2020 - 2045
The opportunity to taste what many regard as this estate's two greatest red wine vintages more than lived up to expectations. The 2010 is fresh, firm and beautifully rendered with a tight coil of tannin which will support and carry this wine for decades. Still nowhere near its peak, this has classic, sweetly defined cassis and redcurrant fruit with a delicious undertow of cedary tobacco and minerality. The finish is supremely savoury and extremely long. 2018-2045
Magnum. Very dark blackish crimson. Deep purple right out to the rim. Great energy and savour – a more energetic, appetising wine than the 2009. Excellent palate attack and nerve. Rich start and then very fine tannins. Still embryonic. But a lovely undertow. Drink between 2019-2035
Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and plums follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a fruity finish. Lots of mushroom and fruit undertones. Very polished. Such finesse yet structure to this young wine.
Daniel and Florence Cathiard transformed this property in the early 1990s and have been making decadent, modern, sexy wines here since then which combine flavours of classic earthy Graves with silky and seductive new oak from barrels produced by their in-house cooper. This is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot with the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. 50% Troncais new oak. Very forward, very silky, fleshy and smooth. This is so open-knit, polished to a brilliant shine. Absolutely gorgeous and classy with a fine balance. It is intense but not at all heavy. Deliciously decadent and will be hard to resist in its youth - but will age well.
Gorgeous, with alluring black tea and warm ganache notes that unfurl slowly, while the core of intense steeped plum, anise, blackberry compote and black currant confiture sits patiently in reserve. The beautiful loam-, tobacco- and tar-filled finish displays major heft, but also remarkable polish and grace. Should age very slowly. Best from 2018 through 2035. 9,000 cases made.
Rich tobacco leaf cassis fruit, superb balance of natural vineyard concentration and elegance, already showing fragrance and charm, a notable success for this château. Drink 2015-30.
2010: A qualitative home run, right up there with the profound 2005 and more opulent 2009, Smith-Haut-Lafitte has turned in a remarkable performance in this vintage, but then again, so have many other chateaux. A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the wine has an inky/purple color and an extraordinary nose of graphite, blackberries, cassis, licorice, smoke, and camphor. The unbelievable skyscraper-like texture, stunning purity, and formidable intensity make for a remarkably rich, long, full-bodied wine that is classic Graves, but at the same time a staggering 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035+.
Tasted at the Union de Grand Cru in London. The 2010 Smith Haut-Lafitte has very fine delineation on the nose with intense black cherry, raspberry and slightly meaty aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy, edgy tannins. It has a lovely spicy, almost peppery seam running from start to finish. It is quite compact, much more reserved than I recall out of barrel, but the oak is seamlessly integrated and it is incredibly long. Tasted November 2012.