2016 Ch. Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac Léognan

2016 Ch. Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac Léognan

Product: 20168122816
Prices start from £90.19 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2016 Ch. Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac Léognan

Description

A charming, pale yellow hue leads you into a glass which is bursting with fresh aromas of freshly cut pink grapefruit, citrus and a trace of peach. Aged in 50 percent new oak, this has a vivacious character on the palate, with a pleasing, saline freshness and a suave, long texture.

Blend: Sauvignon Blanc 90%, Sémillon 5%, Sauvignon Gris 5%
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Available for delivery or collection. Pricing includes duty and VAT.
Bottle (75cl)
 x 6
£541.14  (£90.19 p/b)
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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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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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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.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate96/100
James Suckling96-97/100
jancisrobinson.com17/20

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate96/100
The Smith Haut Lafitte 2016 Blanc is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Smillon matured in 50% new oak. It reveals gregarious pineapple and green guava notes giving way to tantalizing fresh grapefruit and green apples scents plus wafts of orange blossom, crushed rocks and honey drizzled peaches. Medium to full-bodied with a gorgeous satiny texture, the palate is jam-packed with tropical and citrus flavors, finishing long and deliciously savory.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - 30/11/2018 Read more
James Suckling96-97/100
A dense and powerful white with wonderful depth and phenolic tension. Shows very pretty sliced-apple, lemon and pear character. Excellent finish. 90% sauvignon blanc with the rest semillon and sauvignon gris. Excellent follow-up to the 2015.
James Suckling - April 2017 Read more
jancisrobinson.com17/20
Heady, spicy, deep flavoured and a great exhibition of what makes excellent dry white bordeaux distinctive and delicious. Lanolin and rich lemon syrup notes but very fresh and long on the finish. Perhaps not the most intense vintage of this wine but I would happily drink this now. Drink 2017-2024.
Jancis Robinson - 25th April 2017 Read more