The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte is easily one of the highlights of the vintage. Dense, unctuous and impeccably balanced, the 2017 exudes depth from start to finish. Charcoal embers, graphite, menthol, licorice and sage add myriad shades of nuance to the plush, unctuous dark raspberry jam fruit. This is a super impressive showing from Smith Haut Lafitte. I tasted the 2017 two times. On both occasions, the wine showed tremendous aromatic and flavor depth. (AG)
Bold tannins and powerful fruits give this perfumed wine concentration and a dense texture. It is rich in pure black fruit-flavors, with bright acidity that will allow for aging. The power and the structure of this wine are impressive, while not losing the crisp fruitiness of the vintage. (RV)
This is a solid Smith for the vintage with blackberry and blackcurrant character. Full to medium body, firm and silky tannins and a lingering finish. Excellent potential here.
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte opens slowly to reveal complex notes of crushed black cherries, black currants and wild blueberries with touches of lavender, pencil lead, cast iron pan and a waft of aniseed. Medium-bodied and elegant with great freshness and quiet intensity, it has firm, grainy tannins and a sustained yet ethereal mid-palate, with a long, energetic, mineral-laced finish. (LPB)
The 2017 Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte checks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, fermented in oak tanks and aging in 60% new French barrels. It has a fresher, more lively style than normal but shows a beautiful purity and clarity in its crème de cassis, graphite, spring flower, and gravelly mineral-like aromas and flavors. Its acidity is nicely integrated, it has fine, ripe tannin, and a balanced style that’s going to evolve nicely. It’s certainly a terrific wine from winemaker and director Fabien Teitgen.
This sits a long way above the second wines this year, and here they are very close to recent successes, with excellent juice running right through the cassis, bilberry, liquorice, dark chocolate and charcoal notes. It's an extremely classical, sculpted vintage with a lovely grilled edge that gives a gourmet, confident feel. It has a velvety texture and finely-placed, flexible tannins that are clearly going to age well. This is a real success, and a testament to their attention to detail - for example, they had 105 pickers in 2016 but 160 pickers in 2017, because with the September rain they wanted to go more quickly. Half of the vineyard is now farmed biodynamically, with full conversion expected for 2020. 60% new oak. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend given. (JA)
This has a good core of dark plum and blackberry fruit, with a twinge of licorice snap mixed in. A hint of bramble on the finish, with the vintage’s refined, fresh acidity as well. (JM, Web Only-2018)
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