Although wine has been produced here since the mid-14th century, the story of Château Smith Haut Lafitte began in earnest in the 18th century with Georges Smith, its founder. As for the Lafitte part of the name, it comes from the Latin ficta (stone), which became fitte in the Gascon dialect, referring to a gravel hilltop of the type the vines are planted on. Given the superb quality of the production, Georges Smith decided to export it to Britain to satisfy the growing demand for the New French Claret. After a number of changes of ownership over the following two centuries, accompanied by a certain decline in quality, new life was breathed into the wine when the Cathiard family took over the domaine in 1990. And a mere year later, connoisseurs were reporting that Smith Haut Lafitte had rediscovered its former splendour; most of whom were foreign buyers, given that the owners continue to favour the export channel so dear to the estate's founder. The domaine's vineyards cover 56 hectares, 45 of which are devoted to the production of red wine. In its quest for excellence, the château now has its own cooperage, giving it control over the barrel manufacturing process. With the same aim in mind, the estate's on-site weather station enables it to predict the effects of bad weather on the vines. The château has become a pioneer in Bordeaux luxury wine tourism. The Cathiard family is also responsible for creating the Caudalie brand.
About the cuvée
11 hectares of Günz sands and gravels are set aside for white wine production, 90% of which is Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Sémillon. The white wines, like the reds, have recently shown year-on-year improvement. The woodiness has become less prominent, making the wine more precise. The grapes are generally harvested very ripe, but the predominance of Sauvignon has allowed the wine to retain considerable acidity, showing the wine's balance. The bouquet typically produces aromas of exotic fruit, citrus and white flowers. The palate is full-bodied; the wine's superb richness combines with great definition, held in balance by its acidity. A white Pessac which ages very gracefully; the very peak of the appellation.
The best vintages for Château Smith Haut Lafitte :
2010,2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1990, 1989, 1985, 1982
The information published presents current information on the wine concerned and is not specific to a certain vintage. This text is protected by copyright and it is forbidden to copy without prior written consent from the author.
General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.