The 2013 Smith-Haut-Lafitte has a composed and quite refined bouquet, certainly one of the best that I have encountered on the Left Bank, with wild strawberry mixed with cedar and a touch of graphite. The palate is smooth on the entry, the oak nicely integrated, almost Pinot-like in texture with a prickle of spice on the finish. Recommended for the vintage, this constitutes a very respectable Pessac-Léognan from the Cathiard family in what was a difficult vintage.
The Cathiard family has fashioned a medium-bodied, light-styled 2013 Smith Haut Lafitte exhibiting a medium dark ruby color, attractive red and black currant fruit, a hint of graphite, and a one-dimensional mouthfeel. If it puts on weight and depth, it may merit a higher score. Based on this estate's perfect wines in 2009, 2010 and great 2008, the so-so 2013 is somewhat disappointing. It should drink well for 6-10 years.
This is very, very fresh with a bright berry and currant character. Medium to full body, with fine tannins. Very pretty finish. Subtle and delicate. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, and a touch of cabernet franc and petit verdot.
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. Deep ruby in appearance. There is a concentrated nose of blackberry and dark chocolate, with a hint of coffee and tobacco. The palate has a ripe, smooth entry with silky tannins and liquorice flavours. There is a ripe core of black fruit and lots of smoky, spicy flavours from the new oak. There is a long finish which is a balance of blackberry and toast.
The 2013 Smith Haut Lafitte is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is bestowed with a fragrant bouquet, floral and quasi-Margaux in style, with a hint of seaweed developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and lifted acidity. It feels a little pinched towards the finish at the moment, although that will soften by the time of bottling. This is a more classic Smith Haut Lafitte, but there is nothing wrong with that. Tasted April 2014.