Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac Leognan 2018
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan|
|Brand||Château Smith Haut Lafitte|
Checking in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot brought up in 60% new French oak, the 2018 Château Smith Haut Lafitte reveals a saturated purple color as well as rock star notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, graphite, crushed rocks, and spice. Deep, profoundly concentrated, beautifully seamless and textured on the palate, it reminds me of the 2009 with its opulent, powerful style. It's a brilliant wine from this terrific estate and up with the top wines in the vintage. Hats off to director Fabien Teitgen who continues to make an elegant yet powerful, uncompromising style of wine.
Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte is a little shy to begin. With coaxing, it very slowly unfurls to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of violets, red roses, kirsch, black cherries and redcurrant jelly, before giving way to a profound core of warm blackcurrants, blackberry preserves, molten licorice and cinnamon stick with nuances of dried mint, orange blossoms (yes!) and cloves. Full-bodied, the fruit does veritable pirouettes on your palate, both elegant and powerful in its expression, coating the mouth with densely packed red and black fruits while revealing tons of mineral, floral and savory sparks, framed by exquisitely fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing very long.
The 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from 18 September until 8 October. There was no saignée according to winemaker Fabien Teitgen and he told me that this year they used no stems. I have to say, I really adore this nose: blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone and iris petals, very well defined and the new oak playing a supporting role. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, taut and linear with black fruit laced with iodine and black olive. There is plenty of freshness here, very focused with a crisp and lively finish. This is a superb Smith Haut Lafitte that should age with real style.
Barrel Sample. This is a finely structured, impressive wine that displays bold tannins and a streak of freshness. This shows great balance between its bold structure and rich fruit. Its tannins are the sign of its aging potential.
Ripe and seductive, with a caressing wave of cassis, plum puree and blackberry compote flavors that hold sway throughout, but not without support from enticing savory, licorice, warm loam and mineral accents along the way. Cashmere finish lets everything sail on and on. Gorgeous. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2040. 10,000 cases made.