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Smith Haut Lafitte 2022

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

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.

The 2022 is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

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Tasting Notes

The 2022 Smith Haut Lafitte was cropped at 29hL/ha between 5 and 30 September, undergoing half the extraction, aged in 60% new oak for a planned 18 months. It is fragrant and very pure on the nose: beautiful blackberry, raspberry and liquorice. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, very elegant and focused, fine-boned with an exceptionally pure and caressing tobacco-tinged finish. This is going to grow to be a wonderful, delicious Smith Haut Lafitte. 14.5% alcohol. 2030-2065

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2023

The 2022 Smith Haut Lafitte opens in the glass with attractive aromas of cassis, spices, tobacco, graphite and licorice, followed by a medium to full-bodied palate that is deep and layered, with good depth and powdery structuring tannins that assert themselves on the finish. This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot will require some patience, given its somewhat extracted style.

Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate, April 2023

Oily black fruit and blackerry compote together with a real hit of vanilla and cinnamon on the nose. The palate has the same seductive, polished tone with seamless tannins and powerful wood char. Stony, grippy tannins build on the palate, taming the fruit initially and creating a somewhat dry finish. Liquorice and parma violet on the finish.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, April 2023

The polish, texture, complexity and patina are very impressive and fascinating. So spicy and interesting with so much going on. Medium body with wonderfully integrated tannins that are cut and nicely chiselled already. Lemon and violet. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2023

The 2022 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, with a yield of 29 hl/ha and aging in 60% new oak. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a lot of shaking to wake up notes of blackcurrant jelly, redcurrant preserves, boysenberries, and pencil lead, followed by suggestions of lilacs, Sichuan pepper, and cedar chest. The full-bodied palate is built like a skyscraper, delivering mouth-coating black fruits with red berry sparks supported by rock-solid, firm tannins, finishing very long and with a refreshing mineral lift. pH 3.70.

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

Inky colour, with vivid vibrant edging, curling and fragrant floral aromatics, plenty of energy from the first kick of peony and mandarin peel. The rich density of the blue and black fruits are set against slate and grippy tannins, giving textural contrast which makes it engaging, together with a saline scrape on the finish. Blueberry, cassis, ink, liquorice root, graphite, pink grapefruit, intensely expressed with a vertical rise through the palate, very much true to estate signature. 29hl/h, 3.65ph, 10% whole bunches fermentation, using a mix of full bunches and stalks that they select after destemming. 33% 1st wine, 4% press used in the blend, harvest September 5 to 30. Fabien Teitgen technical director.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, May 2023

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. This represents just a third of the estate’s output; Florence Cathiard is extremely keen to increase this proportion. Mainly Merlot and a tiny proportion of Petit Verdot stems went into the fermentation vat for freshness. They will probably bottle this in June as usual but may keep it in barrel a bit longer for texture. Cask sample.
Dark, glossy blackish purple. Glossy, glamorous impression on the nose. Very juicy and extremely sweet. Very flattering with masses of fruit almost covering the very ripe tannins. This should be drinkable very early but should also last well. Notably long. Velvety texture but with the freshness of Graves. Lovely wine.
Drink 2030– 2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2023
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.