Marks and reviews
Location at the heart of the Pessac-Léognan appellation and dating from 1365, Château Smith Haut Lafitte is one of the oldest châteaux in Bordeaux. This magnificent Grâces estate entered a new era in its history following its purchase by Daniel and Florence Cathiard in 1990. Sustained by the passion and ambition of the Cathiard couple, Château Smith Haut Lafitte has established itself as one of the most beautiful Graves estates alongside the growths which are reputed worldwide for their elegance and style, both in terms of red and white wine.
Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte is the estate’s Second Wine.
The superbly situated Château Smith Haut Lafitte has a vineyard covering 78 hectares. The 2020 Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte is made from vines which are aged 11 years on average. The château uses its own vine plants thanks to a mother vine preserved in the plant nursery on the island of Lalande. The vineyard is cultivated with Organic Farming.
The wet and mild winter encouraged an early bud break in early March. The rise in temperatures in April allowed the vine to experience good growth. A rainy spell in early May triggered mildew pressure, which was controlled thanks to the care given to the vineyard by the team at the château. Vine development (flowering, ripening) was quick and homogeneous. The summer conditions, which were marked by heat and drought, brought about the first water stress at the end of July. Harvests, which began on 20 August for the white grapes and 9 September for the red, ranked among the earliest in the history of the estate. The red grape varieties ripened at a dense and homogeneous rate. Small in size, the berries were thick-skinned, rich in concentrated tannins and had a lovely aromatic freshness.
Winemaking and ageing
Following a pre- and post-destemming double sorting, the uncrushed grapes are taken by gravity in tanks for fermentation. Extraction occurs via pumping over and/or punching down. Ageing lasts for 14 months in barrels (20% in new wood) made in the cooperage that was built into the estate.
The wine is a very dark red colour, adorned with bluish tints.
The very expressive nose mixes fragrances of fruits (fresh red and black fruits), spices (star anise) and liquorice with smoky notes.
A powerful attack precedes a palate which seduces with its smooth touch, balance and delicate union between substance, softness, opulence and freshness. The beautifully long palate unveils refined tannins, as well as a mouth-coating and delicious substance. Throughout the tasting, a rich, aromatic palette made up of intense aromas of fruit, sweet spices, blond tobacco leaf as well as notes of graphite and liquorice are conveyed.