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Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2020

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan
Grape VarietySauvignon Blanc/Semillon

11 hectares at Smith Haut Lafitte are planted with white varieties - 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon. A top performer in recent vintages.

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Tasting Notes

Lastly, and pure perfection in white wine, the 2020 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is based on 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon that was aged in 50% new oak. This massively rich, concentrated, powerful white offers a heavenly nose of honeyed flowers, orange marmalade, lemon grass, and toasted bread, with a building sense of salinity and minerality that shows on the finish. Drink this stunningly rich, layered, concentrated 2020 over the coming two decades.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2023

Aromas of grapefruit, melon, ripe apple, and lemon. Lots of lemon curd as well. Full and layered with plenty of fine phenolics. Energetic and vivid. Minerally and lightly chewy at the end. From organic grapes. 90% sauvignon blanc, 5% sauvignon gris and 5% semillon.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2023

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is composed of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon, and 5% Sauvignon Gris, aged in 50% new oak. It needs a little coaxing to bring out fragrant notions of fresh grapefruit, green mango, and nectarines, giving way to hints of honeysuckle, mandarin peel, cedar, and paraffin wax. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers intense citrus and tropical fruit flavors with a silky texture and crisp line defining the fruit, finishing on a lingering chalky note.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, March 2023

A strong effort, the 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc wafts from the glass with aromas of nectarine, pear, lemongrass, Sauvignon botanicals, toasted bread and baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, it's rich and concentrated, with ripe acids and chalky structuring extract. It's not quite as vibrant and precise as the 2019, but it's a success nonetheless.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, April 2023

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc has a well-defined bouquet with honeysuckle, jasmine, touches of chalk and citrus fruit, the floral component becoming more expressive with time in the glass. Fine mineralité. The palate is very well balanced with grapefruit and yellow plum, hints of nectarine, bitter lemon joining the chorus line with aeration. It feels long and tensile and it should give up to 20 years' drinking pleasure.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2023

This brings together depth and power, concentrated and hugely saline right from the start. Rich in texture, with layers of stone fruits from nectarines to white peaches, with a steely edge that squeezes through the fruit, holds interest and adds persistency. A delicious white wine with the point of bitterness on the finish adding another dimension. Average yields 29hl/ha for the whites. 50% new oak. Harvest started August 20, one of earliest on record, through to September 9th. Certified organic (AB) as of 2019 in the vineyard.

Drinking Window 2022 - 2036

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021

Full bottle 1,355 g. Cask sample taken 22 April. 90% very ripe Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris. Harvest started 20 August but only ever until 11 am. Then they stopped to wait for acid levels to drop a little. Plot-by-plot picking. 45 parcels in 11 ha. 50% new oak. Pioneer of biodynamics and sustainability in Bordeaux.
Hugely seductive nose as usual. None of the obvious skinniness of Sauvignon Blanc. This is rich yet tangy on the nose and tastes as though it has quite a portion of Sémillon in the blend. Lanolin richness on the nose. Some richness on palate entry gives way to really fantastic vibrancy on the palate. Very much in the house style and a real triumph. Hint of mint. Already pretty gorgeous. Long.
Drink 2022 – 2032

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

The yields this year are 29hl/ha, with the blend 90% Sauvignon Blanc and equal parts Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris. The wine will spend a year in 50% new french oak with frequent lees stirring. Creamy and generous on the nose, with lemon curd, peach and apricot. The palate is glossy and ripe, fleshy peaches and amalfi lemons dominating the fruit core. The oak is a prominent feature, but it still finds balance thanks to the intensity of fruit, which lingers on a long and fine finish.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2020
Read more tasting notes...

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc was cropped at 29hl/ha and aged in 60% new oak barrels. It takes its time to unfurl on the nose, toying with the olfactory senses before revealing attractive honeysuckle, yellow flowers, jasmine, melon and very subtle chamomile scents, gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with an intense, concentrated opening, a little more viscous in texture than the Le Petit Haut Lafitte, deeper and a touch spicier. Veins of lemongrass and stem ginger appear toward the finish. This should drink well for 15–20 years. One of the best dry whites of the vintage. 2023 - 2040

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2021

The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak, 50% new, within which it will age for 12 months on lees with bâtonnage before spending a further two to three months in tank. It prances out of the glass with vivacious notes of lime blossoms, Golden Delicious apples and green mango, plus hints of coriander seed, shaved ginger and wet pebbles. The medium-bodied palate possesses lovely harmony even at this nascent stage, featuring bright apple and citrus flavors with soft acidity and a chalky finish. 2025 - 2037

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, 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.