2020 - Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Grand Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan
06C0SMHL6PK _ 2020 - Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Grand Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan - 6x75cl
Colour
Red
Producer
Château Smith Haut Lafitte
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2028 - 2050
Case size
6x75cl
En Primeur

2020 CH SMITH HAUT LAFITTE GRAND CRU CLASSÉ PESSAC-LÉOGNAN - 6x75cl

Colour
Red
Producer
Château Smith Haut Lafitte
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2028 - 2050
Case size
6x75cl
En Primeur
In Bond
Case price £576.00 (Ex. VAT)
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Tasting Notes

  • NM

    Neal Martin, May 2021,
    Score: 95-97

    The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from September 9, the yields 20% down on average due to the dry summer period, and matured in 60% new oak with no vin de presse. This actually blossomed after an hour’s opening, revealing exquisite blackberry, briar, crushed rock and light rose petal scents, very nuanced considering the growing season and the 14.5° alcohol. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a very fine line of acidity that keeps this on its tippy-toes. Disarmingly pure, its silky texture is very appealing, likewise the veering toward more red berry fruit lacked with white pepper toward the finish. This may well surpass the previous two vintages. An outstanding effort from winemaker Fabien Teitgen and his team. Drink 2025 - 2055

  • WA

    Wine Advocate, May 2021,
    Score: 98-100

    A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte makes an impactful entrance, opening with flamboyant notes of blackcurrant pastilles, chocolate-covered cherries and molten licorice, leading to nuances of ground cloves, woodsmoke, crushed rocks and dusty soil. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with opulent black fruit preserves and shimmering mineral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe and fantastically firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epically long-lasting earthy and savory layers. This is the singular voice of Smith Haut Lafitte at its finest, and wow-oh-wow is it worth a listen. This 2020 has an alcohol of 14.5% with a pH of 3.65. The tannins this year were a little higher than 2018 and 2019. A little less than a third of production went into this grand vin. Drin 2028-2068

  • DC

    Decanter, May 2021,
    Score: 97

    Powerful on the attack, dense and concentrated at first then brighter on the retro-olfaction with layers of spice, liquorice and flowers. Intense but beautifully precise, with iris and peony aromatics coming in strongly as it opens in the glass. A ton of nuance and complexity, really takes its time, delivering a masterclass in restrained Pessac glamour. Average yields 30hl/ha for the reds. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak. Harvest started on September 9 - 30. Drink 2030-2050

  • AG

    Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
    Score: 95-97

    The 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte is a thrilling wine of grandeur and spellbinding beauty. The aromatics literally soar out of the glass, perhaps driven by a touch more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. A vertical, explosive wine, the 2020 possesses tremendous energy. It is a rapturous wine that will delight readers for years to come. A move towards gentler extractions, with less oak impact, allows the purity of the fruit to come through loud and clear. Inky dark cherry, plum, mocha, dried herbs and lavender are all amplified in the 2020, but what I admire most is a total sense of harmony. I can't wait to see how it ages, as evolution has at times been the sole Achilles heel here. Drink 2028 - 2045

  • GDH

    Goedhuis, May 2021,
    Score: 94-96

    65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot Layered smoky aromas of vanilla pod, a medicinal touch, and inky black fruits. A striking style, full of gloss, textured depth, intense and uplifting. Its tannic frame sits comfortably beneath the volume of rich fruit and the bite of acidity keeps the palate refreshed. A mass of both class and potential. 94-96

  • WCI

    Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
    Score: 97-99

    Incredibly dark in color, the aromatics spring from the glass with smoke, tobacco leaf, blackberry, cassis, licorice, flowers, cocoa and cigar box notes. The wine is full-bodied, rich, lush, opulent and intense. All that power is harnessed by freshness, intensity and lift. There is a beautiful sense of purity and vibrancy not found in previous vintages. With textures of silk and cashmere, with layers of perfectly ripe, seductive, black and dark red fruits accompanied by Valrhona chocolate, the seamless finish stays with you, expanding for close to 60 seconds! This is clearly the best wine Smith Haut Lafitte ever produced! The reason is simple. Previous vintages at times felt like they were made in the cellar. Here you taste a wine that was produced in the vineyard. Blending 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, 14.5% ABV pH of 3.65. The harvest took place September 12 through September 30, yields were only 32 hectoliters per hectare.

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, April 2021,
    Score: 17+

    Mid crimson. Nuanced, complex nose suggests masses of ripeness and intense aromas. Interesting dried-bay-leaves note on the nose followed by some slight leafiness. Rich, polished palate – structured juiciness. Then pretty dry on the finish – not quite as luscious on the palate as the nose suggests. Masses of sandy-textured tannins on the finish. Will need lots of time. Drink 2029 – 2045

  • JD

    Jeb Dunnuck, May 2021,
    Score: 97-100

    Possibly ranking with the top two or three wines of the vintage, the 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte is a blockbuster that reminds me of a hypothetical mix of the 2009 and 2010. Based on a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple hue is followed by a monster bouquet of ripe black fruits, scorched earth, charcoal, and graphite. All of these carry to a full-bodied Pessac-Léognan with flawless balance, loads of ripe, polished tannins, a dense mid-palate, and a great, great finish. It’s one of the gems in the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Give bottles just 4-6 years in the cellar, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 20-30 years.

  • MJ

    Matthew Jukes, April 2021,
    Score: 18+

    This is a cultured and extremely enjoyable wine with a gentlemanly feel about it and there is calm fruit, balanced oak and energetic tannins, all perfectly proportioned, and this makes it one of the finer wines from this appellation in 2020. The tannins are nicely marshalled and crisp and they will retreat in an orderly fashion in ten or fifteen years.

More Tasting Notes Hide More Tasting Notes

Producer

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Equally known for its red and white wines, Smith Haut Lafitte is particularly notable for producingclean, concentrated and consistent wines - qualities which have enabled it to be one of the mostpopular châteaux in the Graves region.

Region

Pessac-Léognan

Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.