2012 Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2012 Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Product: 20128011879
Prices start from £375.00 per case Buying options
2012 Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Description

We have really struggled with the red wines from this estate over recent vintages and I have torn out what little hair I have left when reading the huge Parker ratings it has been receiving. This year, however, the wine does not seem forced or over-extracted, and although I still wouldn’t say it is subtle or shows elegance, the wine has good weight and balance with a really decent freshness. If it is made available at an attractive price this year, it certainly deserves consideration. Drink 2016-2026.
Simon Staples, Asia Director
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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Find out more.
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6 x 75cl bottle
BBX marketplace BBX 1 case £375.00

Critics reviews

Wine Advocate95/100
Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20
Wine Spectator 91-94/100
Robert Parker92-94/100
Decanter17.25/20
Wine Advocate95/100
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.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 30/04/2015 Read more
Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20
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.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 19 Apr 2013 Read more
Wine Spectator 91-94/100
Dark, with a ganache frame to the black currant, plum and blackberry notes. Tarry finish is rather shut and stolid today, but theres serious stuffing here. Long charcoal echo, too.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013 Read more
Robert Parker92-94/100
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 - Apr 2013 Read more
Decanter17.25/20
Elegantly concentrated cassis fruit with tobacco leaf overtones, habitual Smith seductively smooth and spicy, will show early and last well. Read more

About this WINE

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.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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