White, For laying down

2012 Ch. Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac Léognan

2012 Ch. Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac Léognan

White | For laying down | Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte | Code: 17186 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Pessac-Leognan | Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon | Medium Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

Prices: 

Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs

£375.00
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Scores and Reviews

DECANTER

17.25/20

JANCIS

16.5/20

PARKER

93-95/100

WS

92-95/100

DECANTER - Beautiful lemon-yellow colour, slightly exotic/spicy nose and flavours from the Sauvignon Gris in the vineyard, generous fruit, character and class.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Slightly stinky Sauvignon aromas. Tight. Then it broadens and sweetens on the palate to something much richer and more distinctive. Just a little sugary but this is to split hairs.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 16 Apr 2013

PARKER - Under the capable hands of the Cathiard family, this property has been producing fabulous red and white wines. The 2012, another brilliant effort, exhibits notes of orange rind, figs, mangoes, pineapples and caramelized citrus presented in a full-bodied, heady, powerful style. It should drink well for 15-20 years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Lovely, with a kiss of brioche and toasted macadamia nut leading the way, followed by yellow apple, fennel, white peach and green almond notes. Long finish retains the toasty hint, but shows lovely purity too. Gorgeous.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Producer

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith-Haut-Lafite has been transformed during the last decade from being a perennial underachiever to being one of the leading estates in the Graves region.

For many years it was owned by the Bordeaux négociant Eschenauer - in 1990 it was bought by former Olympic skiing champion, Daniel Cathiard. He cut down on the amount of chemicals and herbicides used in the vineyards, and fully modernised the winemaking facilities. The proportion of new oak barrels used in the maturation process was increased and a trio of eminent oenologists (including the ubiquitous Michel Rolland) were hired as consultants.

The 55 hectares of vineyards are located on a gravel ridge to the east of Château Haut-Bailly. The red wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (35%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). The grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in oak barrels (50% new) for 15-18 months. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The Grape

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.

In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.

The Region

Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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