Ch. Smith Haut Lafitte, Grand Cru Classe, Pessac-Leognan, 2005
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Ch. Smith Haut Lafitte
Grand Cru Classe

Regular price £169.00 £0.00 Unit price per
Including duty and VAT.

The producer

A chateau with ancient history dating back to 1365 and with connections to the French Valois royal family and a Scottish navigator, Georges Smith, who added the “Smith” to the name in the 18th century. But the modern history started in 1990, when Daniel and Florence Cathiard (Daniel, a former Olympian skiing champion) acquired the estate. They fully restored the estate and vineyards, converting the vineyards to organic farming (certified from the 2019 vintage) with some biodynamic practices used as well. They established and on-site barrel cooperage and have, altogether, made every possible effort to be as sustainable an operation as possible.

With Cru Classe de Graves status for the red wine, Smith Haut Lafitte has 55 hectares of vineyards located directly east of Ch Haut-Bailly. The Grand Vin is usually a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The white wine is mainly Sauvignon Blanc, with a touch of Sauvignon Gris and Semillon, and is consistently one of the best white wines in the area.

Daniel and Florence’s daughter, Alice Toubier Cathiard, runs a luxury hotel and spa – Les Sources de Caudalie – which is located in the middle of the vineyards. Other daughter, Mathilde, along with her husband, Thomas, run the skincare range ‘Sources de Caudalie’ which is made from recycled grape seeds and vine cuttings, while also being a member of 1% for the planet.

This is one of the best Bordeaux vineyards to visit – also with a ten-hectare open air museum (the walking trail “Forest of the Senses”) which is dotted with contemporary artworks, mainly by Bordeaux artists – and meanwhile, the Cathiards never lose any focus.

The wine

Fruit for Smith Haut Lafitte’s Grand Vin is sourced from a single vineyard block on a gravel plateau in Pessac Leognan; the average age of the vines is 48 years. The blend varies with vintage conditions but is usually around 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 30% Merlot, and the remainder Cabernet Franc, sometimes also with a touch of Petit Verdot. Grapes are fermented in small wooden vats with soft extraction by manual punching down, and is followed by 15-18 months ageing in barrels, 60% of which are new and produced in the estate’s own cooperage.

Whereas in previous years the oak was more upfront, Smith Haut Lafitte is today increasingly juicy, focused and with a compelling vivacity, complexity, and dense harmony. Although ready to drink relatively young, Smith Haut Lafitte can display enormous aromatic complexity and smoothness if allowed time to age.

Type: Red
Vintage: 2005
Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Sub region: Pessac-Leognan
Grape: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc & 1% Petit Verdot
Style: Savory and Classic
Sweetness: Dry
ABV: 13.5%
Drinking window: 2014 - 2045
Size: 750ml
Food match: Beef and Venison

We choose our wines based on a range of criteria (see how we choose our wines) of which critic scores is just one. Rather than simply highlight the best score to promote a wine, our average critic score is calculated from the scores provided by several respected wine critics, who we follow for specific regions. They do not represent all critic scores and, wherever possible, we try and give more weight to more recent reviews. Where appropriate we consider market-based scores like Global Wine Score or Wine Searcher Average scores.

As a rule, we look to offer wines that achieve a 92/100 average critic score or better and frankly a lot of very good wines simply don’t make the cut. As a high-end provider we want to reflect that positioning in the quality of wines we offer. Such wines are only a tiny fraction of those generally on offer in the market. We believe that an average score is a more conservative and representative approach, but it is still subjective and only offered as a guide to our customers, who will (and should) do their own research. We will add individual critic scores to our website in the future. 

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