Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2005
Blend: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet franc, 1% Petit Verdot.
This sensational, opaque blue/purple-colored wine from Smith Haut Lafitte has a gorgeous floral nose with notes of graphite, blueberries, blackberries, and cassis that jump from the glass of this inky, very dense, yet strikingly pure wine. Light on its feet despite its stunning concentration and multi-layered mouthfeel, this wine has fabulous intensity, richness and length. Quite impressive, and still incredibly youthful, this is a superstar of the vintage, and capable of lasting another 25-30 years.
An impressive nose of spices, dark fruits, and fresh forest flowers. Full-bodied, this has a solid core of fruit and super polished tannins. A fabulous wine, showing great structure and harmony, and a long, long finish. Beautiful stuff. Pull the cork in 2015.
The Cathiards have invested heavily in this property since they purchased it in the early 1990s. It is one of the great terroirs of the Graves, a raised plateau of gravel where the vines produce a rich and powerful wine. That power is amplified in a vintage like 2005 into a huge, cassis-driven red with the velvet feel of a favorite childhood pillow. The Cathiards do not spare the new oak, a character that dominates this young wine, while the fruit underneath feels healthy and clean, vibrating with tension, set for a long life ahead.
Good fresh red-ruby color. Reticent but pure aromas of plum, mocha and tobacco. This began sweet and dense but a bit sullen, then exploded with aeration to show sharply delineated flavors of plum, tobacco, hot stones and smoked meat. Wonderfully fat and full wine that spreads out on the back to saturate the entire palate. This makes the '07 seem peppery and high-pitched in comparison. Very long on the aftertaste. I asked technical director Teitgen to name his favorite recent vintages in Pessac-Leognan, and he listed 1998, 2001 and 2005.
Very grapey, with black licorice and mineral character. Full-bodied, with hints of new wood and spices. Big and velvety. This is balanced and very silky, with harmonious yet chewy tannins. This is a different style from the 2003, but it's equally impressive. A wonderful young wine. Best after 2013. 8,000 cases made.
Château Smith Haut LafitteView all wine
In 1990, Daniel and Florence Cathiard also fell under the spell of... View More