Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte has been transformed during the last decade from being a perennial underachiever to being one of the leading estates in the Graves region. For many years it was owned by the Bordeaux négociant Eschenauer – in 1990 it was bought by former Olympic skiing champion, Daniel Cathiard. He cut down on the amount of chemicals and herbicides used in the vineyards, and fully modernised the winemaking facilities. The proportion of new oak barrels used in the maturation process was increased and a trio of eminent oenologists (including the ubiquitous Michel Rolland) were hired as consultants.
The 55 hectares of vineyards are located on a gravel ridge to the east of Château Haut-Bailly. The red wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (35%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). The grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in oak barrels (50% new) for 15-18 months. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
2016 Le Petit Haut Lafitte – Pessac Leognan – Bordeaux – 94 Points Vinous. $125 per bottle – Estimated – March arrival – six packs
2016 Le Petit Haut Lafitte – Pessac Leognan – Bordeaux – 94 Points Vinous.
“The 2016 Le Petit Haut Lafitte is a fabulous second wine from Smith Haut Lafitte. Inky blue/purplish berry fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice and cloves give the Petit Haut Lafitte its striking aromatic complexity. Deep, resonant and exquisitely layered, the 2016 is a real joy to taste. I would cellar it for another year or two. The 2016 has enough depth and pedigree to develop beautifully for the next 10-15 years.”