Thanks to its 55 hectares of superb gravelly vineyards, Smith Haut Lafitte is often referred to as the “archetypical Graves.” The estate’s history goes back to the Crusades, and a Scottish navigator, George Smith, who became the owner of the estate in the 18th century. He was followed by M. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux, and then Louis Eschenauer, a famous wine shipper.
Their flagship Grand Cru Classe Pessac-Leognan bottling is a a frequent 100-point wine, including in the outstanding 2009 vintage. That drove the price up north of $350/btl. But many people, myself included think the 2010 might actually have the higher potential of the two wines. Due to its shameful 98+ point review 😉 it manages to slip right below the $200 mark. It’s a beauty and one of the best Bordeaux of the amazing 2010 vintage.
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98+ Points, Robert Parker, Jr. – Wine Advocate
This is an extraordinary performance once again from the Cathiard family, the proprietors of Smith-Haut-Lafitte. They think the 2010 is even better than the 2009. (I disagree, but only slightly.) This wine has laser-like definition in its an remarkable nose of a subtle charcoal fire interwoven with spring flowers, creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur and spicy wood. Full-bodied, stunningly concentrated, long, rich and moderately tannic, this wine is set for an exceptionally long life of 30-40 years but can be drunk in 5-7.
98 Points, Lisa Perotti-Brown – Wine Advocate
Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Smith Haut Lafitte delivers notes of baked plums, boysenberries and dried mulberries with an undercurrent of cigar box, new leather and bouquet garni. Full-bodied, the palate has firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the maturing fruit, finishing on a stewed tea note.
96 Points, Wine Spectator
Gorgeous, with alluring black tea and warm ganache notes that unfurl slowly, while the core of intense steeped plum, anise, blackberry compote and black currant confiture sits patiently in reserve. The beautiful loam-, tobacco- and tar-filled finish displays major heft, but also remarkable polish and grace. Should age very slowly. Best from 2018 through 2035.
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