The 2005s from Bordeaux continue to show youthfully, yet spectacularly well! The 2005 Smith-Haut-Lafitte is a prime example of the vintage and offers a huge, rich, concentrated style as well as classic dark fruits, tobacco, scorched earth and graphite aromas and flavors. While this is a tannic vintage, the tannins here are sweet and polished and covered by fruit. With stunning purity of fruit, notable freshness, and a great, great finish, drink this beauty anytime over the coming two decades.
This sensational, opaque blue/purple-colored wine from Smith Haut Lafitte has a gorgeous floral nose with notes of graphite, blueberries, blackberries, and cassis that jump from the glass of this inky, very dense, yet strikingly pure wine. Light on its feet despite its stunning concentration and multi-layered mouthfeel, this wine has fabulous intensity, richness and length. Quite impressive, and still incredibly youthful, this is a superstar of the vintage, and capable of lasting another 25-30 years. (RP)
I had two wines on the night of my birthday this year, shared among four of us on the terrace of Rouge bar at Sources de Caudalie hotel in Martillac. The first was Château Oliver 2014, a white wine that I have long championed as being one of the best in Bordeaux. Both were beautiful, but this Smith Haut Lafitte stood out for its grace, and its generosity of spirit. A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the tannins were sweet, softened but still confident, rich with autumnal fruits, just the right dash of chocolate and liquorice without straying over the line. A wonderful bottle shared with some of my dearest friends, is there anything better? Oh, and the date of my birthday by the way, June 22nd. The day before the EU referendum. Somehow the year seemed more peaceful then – and it makes this wine all the sweeter. (JA)
An impressive nose of spices, dark fruits, and fresh forest flowers. Full-bodied, this has a solid core of fruit and super polished tannins. A fabulous wine, showing great structure and harmony, and a long, long finish. Beautiful stuff.
The Cathiards have invested heavily in this property since they purchased it in the early 1990s. It is one of the great terroirs of the Graves, a raised plateau of gravel where the vines produce a rich and powerful wine. That power is amplified in a vintage like 2005 into a huge, cassis-driven red with the velvet feel of a favorite childhood pillow. The Cathiards do not spare the new oak, a character that dominates this young wine, while the fruit underneath feels healthy and clean, vibrating with tension, set for a long life ahead.
Mulled blackberry, fig and black currant fruit leads the way here, as this has a richness that imparts appeal now, while ample bay leaf, tobacco and humus accents keep this grounded through the finish. Delivers a lovely mix of sweetness of fruit and mouthwatering savory notes.—Blind '01/'03/'05 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2017). Drink now through 2030. (JM, Web Only-2018)
Good fresh red-ruby color. Reticent but pure aromas of plum, mocha and tobacco. This began sweet and dense but a bit sullen, then exploded with aeration to show sharply delineated flavors of plum, tobacco, hot stones and smoked meat. Wonderfully fat and full wine that spreads out on the back to saturate the entire palate. This makes the '07 seem peppery and high-pitched in comparison. Very long on the aftertaste. I asked technical director Teitgen to name his favorite recent vintages in Pessac-Leognan, and he listed 1998, 2001 and 2005. (ST)
Softness is the hallmark of this wine, dominated by spicy wood rather than fruit tannins. It is fruity, big and ripe, with a core of blackberry flavors. Probably for medium-term aging, say 5–6 years. (RV)
Dark crimson. High toned and spicy. Lots tucked in there for the future. Masses of tannin promises well for the future but it’s all a little embryonic for now. Even slightly medicinal. Definitely not for now. Sweeter and spicier than the Domaine de Chevalier tasted alongside. 17++/20 points. (JR)
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