Château Smith Haut Lafitte red 2016: a powerful and elegant Pessac-Léognan
A Cru Classé of Graves produced in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, Château Smith Haut Lafitte produces its red wine in a vineyard of 67 hectares. Aged 38 years, on average, the vines are planted on soils made up of Günzian gravel. Each batch is matured for 18 months in oak barrels (60% in new barrels) before blending. The Château Smith Haut Lafitte red 2016 blends 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
The Château Smith Haut Lafitte rouge 2016 displays a dark red color, almost black. Soft and elegant, the nose open up to fragrances of black fruits (blackberries, black cherries) and red fruits (raspberries), along with subtle and complex floral, spicy, aniseed, toasted (smoke) and mineral notes (flint). This powerful and elegant wine reveals a formidable balance on the palate, showing itself to be dense, concentrated, soft, unctuous and with a superb texture.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2016 Smith-Haut-Lafitte is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that was picked between 29 September and 19 October at 35 hectoliters per hectare. It is being matured in 60% new oak for a total of 18 months. We have never been so proud of our Cabernet Sauvignon, winemaker Fabien Tietgen told me. Now, this has a much subtler bouquet than recent vintages, you could argue, more intellectual than the 2015 Smith-Haut-Lafitte. First there are aromas of blackberry, briary and just a hint of iodine, then underneath that, marine-like aromas such as freshly shucked oyster shells, pressed flowers and a touch of brown spice. There is wonderful delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with plenty of tightly-wound black fruit, intermingling with smoke, black pepper, spice box and a touch of bay leaf. This is an extremely precise Smith-Haut-Lafitte, certainly a cerebral 2016 that might well be approachable young, yet will certainly age in consummate style. The château's own tasting note reads What more could one possibly want from a wine? The answer to that is: Another bottle.