2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge (Pessac)

4% Cabernet Franc 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 34% Merlot
Martillac, Graves, Bordeaux FRANCE
Wine Style
Dominant Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon
Closure Style
Bottle Size
Case Quantity
Wine Score
98 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com, April 2019
17 points, Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2019 97-99+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, robertparker.com, April 2019
91-93 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2019
96-98 points, Chris Kissack,

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Media Reviews

Jane Anson

There is a luxurious, languorous feel right from the very first nose here, which continues step for step all the way through the palate. It`s a highly impressive wine with an amazing texture - something that is starting to mark Smith Haut Lafitte out every year. Notes of dark chocolate, black cherry and liquorice stretch out through the rich palate, displaying tension and texture. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Harvested 18 September to 10 October. 60% new oak. Drink 2027 - 2042. 98 points

Julia Harding

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Only 50% of the crop thanks to mildew (organic treatment only). ‘Like a huge green harvest’, says owner Florence Cathiard. Black with purple rim. Intense, pure, ripe but fresh cassis and gently floral. Much more savoury on the palate, very firm, compact but fine, chalky tannins. Tightly structured. Many-layered rather than thick. Dense and impenetrable at the moment but has enough freshness and incipient harmony to promise more. 17 points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte is a little shy to begin. With coaxing, it very slowly unfurls to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of violets, red roses, kirsch, black cherries and redcurrant jelly, before giving way to a profound core of warm blackcurrants, blackberry preserves, molten licorice and cinnamon stick with nuances of dried mint, orange blossoms (yes!) and cloves. Full-bodied, the fruit does veritable pirouettes on your palate, both elegant and powerful in its expression, coating the mouth with densely packed red and black fruits while revealing tons of mineral, floral and savory sparks, framed by exquisitely fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing very long. 97-99+ points

Antonio Galloni

The 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte is powerful, dense and also tightly wo und. There is good depth to the red cherry and plum fruit, but the 2018 comes across as not fully put together. It will be interesting to see what élevage does, but today, the Grand Vin, while good, is not especially thrilling. The tannins need time to soften, and the wine just needs time to find its center. I found the 2018 very challenging to taste on two separate occasions. 91-93 points

Chris Kissack

This is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This accounts for one-third of the harvest, and the two second wines took together took the remaining two-thirds. A quite beautiful nose, a combination of rose-petal perfume, a chalk-dust minerality and a lightly dried cherry-skin character, opens the door to a fresh, pure and cool palate. It feels reserved tightly reined in, with a slowly building substance and confidence through the middle. A truly impressive, very broad and velvety composition, filled with cashmere tannins, coursing beneath a wonderful bed of black cherry, damson, coffee bean and cocoa bean flavour. The finish is just simmering with tightly knit and imposing tannins. A wine so full of energy and rich substance, this is seriously good, dark and complicated, with a beautifully long grip of tannins at the end. An excellent result here. Tasted twice. 96-98 points

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