Located in the heart of the Pessac-Leognan appellation and dating back to 1365, Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte is one of the oldest estates in Bordeaux. This magnificent property of Grâces has entered a new era in its history, following its acquisition by Daniel and Florence Cathiard in 1990. The Cathiards manage Chateau Smith Haut Laffite with great passion and ambition, having elevated the property to the rank of the most beautiful properties of Graves with wines renowned worldwide for their class and style, both in red and in white.
With a superb location, the Chateau Smith Haut Laffite vineyard covers 78 hectares of vines, which are 40 years old on average. The chateau uses its own vine plants from a mother vine preserved in their nursery on the island of Lalande.
The 2020 vintage of the Chateau Smith Haut Laffite is housed in a new bottle bearing an illustration of the property through a very elegant gold engraving.
The mild, rainy winter favored early bud break in early March. The rise in temperatures in April allowed the vines to grow. A rainy episode in early May triggered mildew pressure, which was subdued by the work of the vineyard teams. The development of the vine (flowering, veraison) was rapid and homogeneous. The summer conditions, marked by heat and drought, caused water stress at the end of July. The harvest, which began on August 20 for the whites and on September 9 for the reds, was among the earliest in the history of the property. The ripe red grapes produced were dense and consistent in quality. Small in size, the berries displayed a thick skin, rich in concentrated tannins and boasting a lovely aromatic freshness.
Vinification and aging
Following the harvest, the grapes were destemmed and then sorted before vatting by gravity and a partial vinification in truncated oak vats with gentle extraction by regular punch-downs. Fermentation was carried out with indigenous yeasts, and was followed by 18 months of aging in barrels from the estate's in-house cooperage.
The color is dark red, with bluish reflections.
The expressive nose gradually reveals fruity notes (red fruits, black fruits), empyreumatic notes as well as aromas of licorice and pencil lead.
Powerful on the attack, the palate seduces with its smoothness, texture, balance and freshness. The firm tannins lend a great persistence and enveloping texture to this wine, which is marked by notes of sweet spices, licorice, tobacco leaf and graphite.
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