Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Focus on Bordeaux - Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2005

Marc Soucy, FWS     Focus on Bordeaux

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2005 Blanc
Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France      Grapes:  90% Sauvignon Blanc  -  5% Sauvignon Gris  -  5% Semillon
The Cellared Oak Barrels at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Planted to the vine since 1365 on the plateau called Lafitte, the chateau was bought in 1720 by Scottish shipping magnate George Smith—who added his name to its name. By the time the Graves sub-region of Bordeaux got around to creating its own official growth classification in the 1950s, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte’s red wine earned it a Grand Cru Classé designation. With new ownership since 1990, huge investment in the winery and cellar have taken place, and a mission was created to come up with a white wine worthy of this chateau. This is that wine. Co-owner Florence Cathiard calls her and her husband Daniel’s own white Graves “special, even paradoxical.” The Sauvignon Blanc vines that contribute the lion’s share to this blend are very old vines that have developed unique characteristics. The addition of Sauvignon Gris, a nearly forgotten grape, adds even more mystery.
The Chateau at Dusk
Marc's Tasting Notes:

Showing a shiny yellow gold, this is a powerhouse of a white wine, showing an amazingly complex nose of lychee, fresh figs, oaky spices, tangerines, pears, butter, jasmine, and a touch of petrol. The age of the vines and the powerful and unique minerality of the vineyard site is a source of pride at Smith Haut Lafitte, in fact. This, along with oak fermentation, makes its mark on the wine. The flavors follow consistently with the nose but more integrated, with an oily texture and oaky vanilla bringing it all together. This wine is likely to continue evolving in the bottle as its stunning complexity becomes more integrated, but it is a memorable wine right now. Definitely a great special occasion wine for white wine lovers, or an indulgence for the wine curious.  Price Range:  $100+
-- Marc Soucy FWS 


FWS: Certification by the French Wine Society, Washington D.C. & Paris France


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