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 Vintage2008 Label 1 of 91 
TypeRed
ProducerChâteau Smith Haut Lafitte (web)
VarietyRed Bordeaux Blend
Designationn/a
Vineyardn/a
CountryFrance
RegionBordeaux
SubRegionGraves
AppellationPessac-Léognan

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2015 and 2025 (based on 23 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Smith Haut Lafitte on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 90.9 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 80 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Rmjchen on 6/5/2015 & rated 92 points: Balanced fruit and tannin in this beautifully crafted wine. All the elements of a classic Graves. Perfect now and will last for another decade. (994 views)
 Tasted by PanosKakaviatos on 3/29/2015 & rated 91 points: 25 years of the Cathiards at Smith Haut Lafitte: all magnum verticals (Château Smith Haut Lafitte): Here we have a very low yield vintage for the estate - at 24 hectoliters per hectare (the 2000 was 32, the 2006 was 33, the 1995 was 39). I sense the concentration, the aromatics are black fruit and rich. The attack is enveloping and even rich, but the finish is a touch austere. Another situation where the vintage character "prendre le dessus" ... And yet, an improvement over 2007 to be sure. Give it time in bottle and I bet it will yield pleasure. (1973 views)
 Tasted by whits on 2/3/2015 & rated 92 points: berries and tobacco on the nose, youthful and elegant, smoke, cherry, dried herbs and blackberries on the palate, this is powerful and concealed, refreshing, yet intense, well-made, beginning to drink well and will continue to do so for a decade (2437 views)
 Tasted by Vino Me on 1/16/2015: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. (2821 views)
 Tasted by walkerjfw on 12/11/2014 & rated 92 points: At Bar Bordeaux at the Carlton. Consistent with prior notes, this very nice right now, open and accessible. Smooth mouthfeel

Balanced and elegant nose. More earth driven than I remember last bottle. Red and dark fruits, tobacco, cedar and smoke. Tannins starting to integrate.

Great now - should drink well for at least 10 years (2949 views)
 Tasted by DrinkBordeaux on 12/9/2014 & rated 92 points: Dark purple and concentrated. Nose of blackcurrant, deep earthiness, hint of green pepper, and lots of smoky elements. This feels like a terroir-driven wine. Silky, full mouthfeel. Ripe tannins that integrate well. Long, lingering finish. I suspect this wine will soon enter its drinking window and will continue to drink well for 15+ years. This is still very young, but can still bring some enjoyment with a decant. (2865 views)
 Tasted by Geoff on 10/29/2014 & rated 93 points: Coravined. Drank over several months. Always impressive. No rough edges, smooth, great fruit, balance. Still young, but very drinkable and enjoyable right now. (2911 views)
 Tasted by NostraBacchus on 9/7/2014 & rated 93 points: Decanted for 2 hours. Dark ruby/purple color. Beautiful nose of black cherries, cassis/black currant, earth/forest floor, flowers. On the palate there is mainly dark fruit again as well as some sweet spices and tobacco. Medium-full bodied with medium-high tannin that is well integrated and very silky and medium+ acidity. Good length. A very elegant and classy SHL from this pretty classic vintage. I was also surprised how accessible it already is, it has the stuffing to age too though. (3689 views)
 Tasted by kidsmurf2000 on 8/17/2014 & rated 94 points: Another great bottle of thus classic (3226 views)
 Tasted by Collector1855 on 5/24/2014 & rated 92 points: Tasted at a merchant dinner. Dark ruby. Expressive nose of dark fruit, forest floor and pine tree, the smoky graves aroma stay a bit in the background on this one. On the palate this is very precise and classic. Tannins a present as in most 08 but soft enough. Needs a bit more time but it will be a winner then. (4523 views)
 Tasted by pclin on 5/20/2014 & rated 94 points: Good nose. Chalky tannins, fresh acidity and good balance with just a tad of heat at finish. Bigger and more complex than previous bottle, this wine has put on some weight over the last one year. 3rd time having this wine and I really like it. (4248 views)
 Tasted by kidsmurf2000 on 4/7/2014 & rated 94 points: Classic, classic Bordeaux (3855 views)
 Tasted by wineotim on 4/7/2014 & rated 94 points: On the first day I would have called this green and a good effort for a so-so vintage. Not impressed. (89 pts)

On the second day this really came together with an uber dry and clean mineral finish, silky, polished tannins, dry, the black fruit is restrained and tight, dry, with great grip, a fine texture, elegant balance and acidity. This will go the distance in your cellar if you let it. If you drink it soon, allow a long decant. This wine took a long time to impress me, an amazing transformation. A modernistic style Bordeaux. (94 pts) (4529 views)
 Tasted by peterchoy on 3/8/2014 & rated 90 points: Appearance: Bright and clear, the wine is of deep intensity ruby color, with legs.
Nose: Clean, with medium intensity aromas of black fruit such as blackberry and ripe cassis, oak notes of cedar, kernel notes of chocolate, maturity notes of savory, pungent spice of licorice, sweet spice of cloves. The wine is developing.
Palate: Dry with medium acidity, the wine has medium (+) tannin, ripe and silky in texture. Medium in alcohol, it has full body with medium intensity flavors of black fruit such as blackberry and blackcurrant, oak notes of cedar, kernel notes of cocoa, pungent spice of licorice. The wine has a medium finish.
Conclusion: Good quality Pessac-Leognan with reasonable concentration on the nose, showing good complexity, the wine is of elegance, yet demonstrating the structure which is well-delineated. The tannin is ripe and smooth even at the young age, with fair intensity and a reasonable length. Overall the wine is a bit too young to drink now, and need to further age for another 2-3 years. (4068 views)
 Tasted by Geoff on 3/5/2014 & rated 93 points: Nice nose, linear with robust upfront fruit of dark berries. Same on the palate without much complexity at this stage. Good structure without overbearing tannins. Well balanced, smooth mouthfeel. Long finish. Hope to see more development in the future. (3504 views)
 Tasted by kidsmurf2000 on 1/26/2014 & rated 94 points: Excellent! (3960 views)
 Tasted by maxima on 1/1/2014 & rated 90 points: Encore jeune et boisé. Vin un peu hypé!
Nez sur le bois et le chocolat avec des cerises.
En bouche, tannins charnus avec un élevage appuyé...assez long et gouteux. (3883 views)
 Tasted by farinas on 12/15/2013 & rated 91 points: Deep black color with some glistening garnet on the edges. Reticent bouquet that needs plenty of coaxing to exude dark fruits, smokey earth, and some graphite. Palate has good intensity with loads of round tannins, low acidity which allows through a sweeter fruit. Finishes short to medium with fruit paste and smoky oak. Very young to ascertain but flirting between indifference and excitement. This one could go either way. 91+? (3922 views)
 Tasted by peternelson on 10/8/2013 & rated 91 points: Crustacean: good mix of red/black fruits, viscous, youthful, compact. This should develop nicely. 90-92 (4714 views)
 Tasted by BeyondTheMargin.net on 9/9/2013 & rated 93 points: Very nice wine - should show even better in 10yrs (5247 views)
 Tasted by johnh1001 on 6/27/2013 & rated 91 points: Lunch at the chateau.Tough to follow the 2009 we just had. Similar flavor profile with dark fruit, some smoke, vanilla and a nice sweetness on the palate. Not as silky or complete as the 2009 but a very nice Bordeaux. This needs time. (5804 views)
 Tasted by mtaczak on 4/20/2013 & rated 91 points: really a nice wine. tannins surprisingly fine, bright core of acidity, and fruit that doesn't try to be anything other than Bordeaux. should be brilliant in 10-15. (6054 views)
 Tasted by ccsargent on 3/9/2013: Shows promise, although it seemed closed over the two days I drank it. Elegant, silky, medium-bodied. (6675 views)
 Tasted by pclin on 2/21/2013 & rated 93 points: Wine is a funny thing, individual bottle shows up very differently from the same vintage. This bottle definitely not showing as well as previous bottle. Nose is quite similar but just not as showy from get go. Very good balance overall but somehow short on complexity, almost easy drinking! It shows better on the 2nd day, adds more complexity. Sweet tannins and harmony!.92-94 pts. (6226 views)
 Tasted by Plus Ultra on 2/19/2013 & rated 91 points: Very good. A little rustic with rich dark fruit balanced with earthy component. Will not buy the 2009 because it is so expensive, so wanted to try the 2008 to get an idea of this producer. Also tried the La Petite 2009 version which was also very good and a lot less expensive. Will buy more of that. (5866 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (3/29/2015)
(Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (7/4/2012)
(Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (1/19/2012)
(Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By John Gilman
View From the Cellar, Jul/Aug 2011, Issue #34, Re-Visiting the 2008 Bordeaux Vintage: Is It Superior to Both 2009 and 2010?
(Château Smith Haut-Lafitte) Login and sign up and see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, July/August 2011, IWC Issue #157
(Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Leognan) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (5/4/2011)
(Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By John Gilman
View From the Cellar, Jan/Feb 2011, Issue #31, Snapshot of the 2008 Bordeaux Vintage- Really a Lovely and Classically Proportioned Year
(Château Smith Haut-Lafitte) Login and sign up and see review text.
By Julia Harding, MW
JancisRobinson.com (10/19/2010)
(Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red) Subscribe to see review text.
The World of Fine Wine, June 2009, Issue #24
(Château Smith Haut Lafitte Cru Classé) Login and sign up and see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (5/11/2009)
(Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Ian D'Agata
Vinous, May/June 2009, IWC Issue #144
(Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Leognan) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (1/21/2011)
(Château Smith Haut Lafitte) Dark purple red violet color; oak, green herb, red currant nose; tart red currant, flat, low acidity; medium finish  87 points
By Chris Kissack
Winedoctor, October 2010
(Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan)) Rather concentrated fruit here, a touch high-toned, crunchy and perfumed, showing the crystalline and crisp quality of the vintage although with richness too. A solid style on the palate, highly polished, with a little silkiness hinted at from time to time but always with a strong layer of almost gamey fruit. Good pervasive fruit substance. Soft and ripe tannins, very well put together with a pile of structure that will demand cellar time. A wine of big structure and big fruit too.  17+ points
By Chris Kissack
Winedoctor, April 2009
(Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte Pessac-Léognan) Tasted twice. Smoky, slightly mineral, sweet and bright fruit on the nose here. Deep and creamy style on the palate, violet-tinged perfumed red fruit character, with moderate acidity, lots of flashy substance and a ripe grip. Overall a good, firm style.  16-17+ points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and View From the Cellar and Vinous and The World of Fine Wine and RJonWine.com and Winedoctor. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Producer website – Read more about Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Producers > Château Smith Haut Lafitte See map
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. The red wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (35%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). The grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in oak barrels (50% new) for 15-18 months. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

BACKGROUND: The noble Bosq family started growing grapes as early as 1365. The property was purchased in the 18th century by Scotsman George Smith, who gave the estate its present name. He also built the manor house and exported his – by now famous – wine to England on his own ships. In 1842, Mr. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux and an enthusiastic winegrower, inherited Château Smith Haut Lafitte from his mother and brought the wine up to great growth status. Impressed by Smith Haut Lafitte's excellent quality, the Louis Eschenauer company distributed the wine all over the world starting in the early 20th century, deciding to buy the estate in 1958. After the Eschenaueur period came to an end, a great deal of money has been invested in the estate, particularly on the construction of a superb underground cellar holding over 1,000 barrels. In 1990, Daniel Cathiard fell in love with the property and joined the list of prestigious owners, firmly intending to further enhance Smith Haut Lafitte's tradition of excellence. He combined the most modern winemaking techniques and age-old methods: organic compost, small wooden vats, ageing on the lees in barrel, etc.

Red Bordeaux Blend

Read about the grapes used to produce Bordeaux The variety Red Bordeaux Blend in CellarTracker implies any blend using any or all of the five traditional Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. As such, this is used worldwide, whether for wines from Bordeaux, Meritages from California and Canada, some Super-Tuscan wines etc.

France

Vins de France (Office National Interprofessionnel des Vins ) | Pages Vins, Directory of French Winegrowers | French Wine (Wikipedia)

Bordeaux

Bordeaux Wine Guide

Vins Bordeaux (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux)

History of Bordeaux

History of 1855 Bordeaux Classification

Graves

Vins de Graves (Conseil des Vins de Graves) - Read more about Pessac Leogan Graves and its wines

 
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