Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru 2012

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru 2012


The opaque bluish-purple 2012 Smith Haut Lafite offers up notes of licorice, graphite, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, stunningly ripe, velvety tannins and a long, long finish.

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SKU: 011252-201275 Categories: , ,

Source: 218, The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 30th Apr 2014 (RP-95)

The opaque bluish-purple 2012 Smith Haut Lafite offers up notes of licorice, graphite, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, stunningly ripe, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is another sensational effort from the Cathiards that is perfectly balanced, complex, super-rich and pure. Drink it over the next 20-25 years.
Drink Date: 2015 - 2040

Source: Issue Date: February 17, 2015 (JS-95)

Aromas of cream, cooked apples and pears follow through to a full body with toasted-oak, cream and vanilla character buttressed by plenty of fruit. So much peach and apricot character. This a bright and flamboyant wine for the vintage. One of the best dry whites. Drink or hold.

Grape varieties: 55 % Cabernet Sauvignon 40 % Merlot 4 % Cabernet Franc 1 % Petit Verdot
Whole uncrushed grape berries fermented in small oak vats at 28?C and extraction with manual pigeage (punching down the cap).
Aged in barrel on the lees for 18 months (60% new barrels, made at the estate's own cooperage) and only racked once. Duration of ageing was adjusted to each wine.
Average age of the vines: Age: 38
To be enjoyed from 2017 to 2027

2012: a vintage driven by reactivity After a chaotic beginning of the vine cycle: early bud break and blockage in April (cold and wet); the vine found back a proper growing path with the beautiful weather conditions from May to September. However, the delay and heterogeneity undergone because of this difficult start of the vine cycle was to be felt all year long.
Once more, the reality of great terroirs, the efforts made in the quest for the balance between the plant and the soil, the vitality of the soils and the low yield reduced greatly theses gaps and induced a slow yet complete maturity of the grapes.
After a first picking day of young vines on the 25th of September, the true harvest started in very good weather conditions on the 4th of October with the Merlots; the juices offered good balances and beautiful aromatic freshness. The weekend of the 6th and 7th of October, with no previous warning sign, a warm and humid depression, of tropical type, troubled our tranquility: mushroom started to be found in the property woods? and botrytis spots appeared.
Sure of the proper maturity of our grapes, we decided to take immediate measures to react to these weather conditions and called in 200 harvesters. The harvest pace doubled, allowing us to qualitatively pick the grapes before they could be affected. Our very selective harvest reception area (de-stemming through vibration, both optical and manual sorting) assured us the perfect quality of the grapes transferred to the vats: no botrytised grape could have passed through this draconian process? Under that sustained pace, harvest finished on the 17th of October with the Cabernet Francs.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Red 2012 offers a beautiful dark bright red colour with blue hue. The already expressive nose reveals very fresh notes of red fruits (strawberry, cherry) with a hint of smoke. Once aerated, the nose complexity appears with delicate notes of spices (star anise, liquorice, cinnamon), of red fruits as well as beautiful and elegant flower notes. Then the nose stretches out with terroir aromas of flint stone and fireplace.
The attack in mouth is fresh and balanced with a fleshy and unctuous texture. The wine is a subtle balance between maturity and freshness: the maturity from the concentration, the impressive unctuosity and sugarity and the beautiful structure of long and classy tannins; the freshness from the tension, the dynamism and the aroma sparkle. The whole defines very well this wine, already reachable, fresh, harmonious and very elegant. This long mouth gives way to a fresh very bordelaise finale, a red fruit explosion. The aromatic is very close to that of the nose, characterised by the freshness with crunchy red fruits, spices notes of liquorice, dry herbs and empyreumatic notes of fireplace and flint stone.


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