Bordeaux Chateaux, Smith Haut-Lafitte

Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc, Pessac Leognan 2020

R1,195

A Sauvignon blanc led blend, the wine combines aromatic richness with freshness and seductive body enticed by minerality

In stock

Description

Description

 

Additional information

Additional information

Grape Variety

Bordeaux Blend, Other Varietals, Sauvignon Blanc

Producer

Bordeaux Chateaux, Smith Haut-Lafitte

Product Type

White Wine

Vintage

2020

Wine Group

Boutique, Prestige

Wine Occasion

Formal Entertainment, Indulgence

Wine Region

Bordeaux, Bordeaux – Left Bank

Critics Top Rating

92 points

Curated Selection

Top Rated, Second Wines, Women in Wine

Story

Story

Château Smith-Haut-Lafite has been transformed during the last decade from being a perennial underachiever to being one of the leading estates in the Graves region.

For many years it was owned by the Bordeaux négociant Eschenauer – in 1990 it was bought by former Olympic skiing champion, Daniel Cathiard. He cut down on the amount of chemicals and herbicides used in the vineyards, and fully modernised the winemaking facilities. The proportion of new oak barrels used in the maturation process was increased and a trio of eminent oenologists (including the ubiquitous Michel Rolland) were hired as consultants.

The 55 hectares of vineyards are located on a gravel ridge to the east of Château Haut-Bailly.

Le Petit is the Second wine of Smith Haut Lafitte, made from younger vines.

Specifications

Specifications

Created during the blending process of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Le Petit Haut Lafitte is vinified and aged with the same care as the Grand Vin. From the vineyard to the cellar, all the production techniques are identical.

Blend – 80 % Sauvignon blanc, 20 % Semillon

Winemaking –  grapes are hand-picked into small crates and pressed in an oxygen-free environment (to preserve the aromatic potential of the berries) and fermentation takes place in French oak barrels (50% new oak) after a cold settling of the juices.

Ageing – 10 months on the lees with bâtonnagein barrels (50% new oak) made at the Chateau onsite cooperage.

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

This wine has a clear yellow and brilliant color. The nose is open and expresses complex notes of citrus and yellow fruit (apricot). We find the influence of the two varietals by the freshness and the dynamics of Sauvignon Blancs associated with the roundness of Semillon. The palate is both tense and voluptuous with a good length on fresh citrus, yellow flowers, yellow fruit and a little smoke characteristic of our terroir made of «Graves gunzienne».

Critic Ratings

Critic Ratings

James Suckling – 92-93 Points

A dense, layered white with cooked-apple, honey and lemon aromas and flavors. Layered and flavorful with a zingy, mineral finish. 80% sauvignon with 20% semillon.

Wine Advocate – 91-93 points

The 2020 Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc is made up of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon, aging in 50% new barriques. It offers open-knit scents of fresh Bosc pears, lemongrass and green guava, plus hints of white pepper and wet slate. The medium-bodied palate is crisp and refreshing, delivering mouth-filling apple and lemon-inspired flavors with a satiny texture and zesty finish.

“The first part of the year was aquatic,” commented Winemaker Fabien Teitgen. “The vines began to grow very early, on March 8th. But after we had good flowering. There was some mildew, but there was not too much damage. Because we are organic and biodynamic, we can only use very little copper mixed with plant infusions. This is the phytotherapy part of biodynamics. We try lots of things and we keep what works. When you are certified, you have to work very fast, even on Saturday and Sunday. Our workers live close by and are very dedicated. “We were not so much impacted by the drought. It’s true, the summer was very dry. But the first part of the year gave water to store in our deep clays. The second part of the year was very sunny and warm. Even where our clay is five to six meters down, this gave us the ability to continue the ripening process. We have an early terroir with this storage of water. We ended harvest before the end of September. “The Cabernet berries were very small—we would have liked to have had a little more juice. By the time we were picking the Cabernet, the rains came. There was no bursting (of berries) for us. The timing of the water was good. Then, we had to be very careful with the extraction—there was a lot of tannin. So, we did much less pigéage. There is no press wine in the blend this year. “It was really a great pleasure to do this vintage. The grapes were very expressive straightaway of the wines. The aromas in the winery were incredible.” It is clear from tasting the range of wines from Smith Haut Lafitte that they were indeed situated in a sweet-spot location and possessing just the right sort of terroir to hit the absolute heights of greatness this vintage has to offer, with all the hurdles skillfully managed by Teitgen and his team. These wines are truly breathtaking. Bravo!


Decanter – 92 points

A richer texture than the Hauts de Smith, less aromatic overall, one that is aimed more at the restaurant trade. The feel and form in the mouth is spherical but beautifully precise, it has weight through the mid palate with citrus fruits, white flowers and touch of bitterness on the finish of saffron and turmeric. 50% new oak

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