Farr Vintners Logo

Smith Haut Lafitte 2012

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

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


Tasting Notes

The opaque bluish-purple 2012 Smith Haut Lafite offers up notes of licorice, graphite, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, stunningly ripe, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is another sensational effort from the Cathiards that is perfectly balanced, complex, super-rich and pure. Drink it over the next 20-25 years. Drink 2015-2040.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015

Tasted from a barrel sample at en primeur. The 2012 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that is being raised in 60% new barrels. It has a intense bouquet, very lifted with the Merlot lending it a very floral aspect. Touches of crème de cassis develop with time. The palate is very well balanced with a smooth texture although you can feel the tannins exert their influence on the structured, much more Left Bank style finish that leaves a tertiary/tobacco aftertaste. This might be a long-term SHL. Tasted April 2013.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

This is very deep and sensual for the vintage with blackberry, tobacco, chocolate, coffee and spice character. Full body, super-integrated tannins and a long, long finish. Superb for the vintage. Give it three or four years to come around but already gorgeous

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015

At this point Smith Haut-Lafittte was leaping up in renown after their excellent 2009 and 2010 vintages, and they deliver here glamour and poise and depth of expression - particularly impressive in a vintage where that wasn't a given. Tannins still firm at this point, you can drink it now but it will soften further over the next two to three years. Great quality poise and character.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2022

Dark purple. Appetising fresh forest-floor nose. Very sweet palate entry but there is freshness here too. Just a little skinny and astringent on the finish but this is attractive modern red bordeaux without overkill of either oak or alcohol. Very competent. Drink 2019-2030

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

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. Plush with a creamy nose of cherry, cassis, toasted brioche and cedary spice. This has a smoky, flinty, real Graves character. Big and rich on the palate with good intensity and richness. Modern, quite powerful yet elegant and fresh. Soft, smooth and creamy-textured. Very refined.

Farr Vintners, March 2013

The layered fig, boysenberry and blackberry pâte de fruit notes
are buttressed by ample, yet polished and integrated, ganachecoated
tannins, while accents of black tea, ganache and tar course
underneath. A really gorgeous display of fruit, showing terroir and
cut on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2027.

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Insider, January 2015

There are a lot of rich flavours on the nose blackcurrant and black cherry backed by fresher bramble. The fruit feels ripe the sweetness filling out the mid palate and although the tannins are firm there is lots if ripe fruit underneath. The finish has an attractive brightness. 2020-35.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2013

As it did in 2011, the increasingly impressive red from this top Pessac-Léognan property
outperformed the more famous white. This is a serious yet very stylish red, combining
perfume with medium weight fruit, smoky oak with nuanced, refined tannins. Long and
complex with notes of violets, graphite and cassis.
Drink: 2020-35

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013
Read more tasting notes...

A brilliant success again, this blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot is a medium-bodied, impressively concentrated wine with copious quantities of red and black fruits. Licorice, roasted herbs and a touch of background oak are present in this slightly precocious wine, which should be accessible when released. It has the depth to evolve for 20 or more years. Talk about a severe selection - only 41% made it into the grand vin!

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

The finish is gorgeous here with a crunchy, fruity, hazelnut and earthy character. Dense yet balanced with a beautiful texture and length. Creamy tannins. Superb for the vintage. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013
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.