Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Red)
WHY BUY IT ?
- A Grand Cru Classé from Pessac Léognan, in white and red
- The know-how of the Cathiard family brought to each vintage for 25 years
- “Here we practice bio-precision” Fabien Teitgen, Technical Director, works this unique soil organically
- The wine impresses with its precise length in the mouth
- The style of Château Smith Haut Lafitte red is very classic, with a beautiful expression of the terroir of “Graves Günziennes”
- The vineyard is certified Organic, not the wines
The history of Château Smith Haut Lafitte dates back to 1365, when the noble house of Bosq had chosen this terroir to exploit a vineyard. Then in the eighteenth century the Scotsman George Smith bought the estate, gave him his name, built the Chartreuse and exported to England on his ships, the already famous barrels. In 1842, Mr. Duffour-Dubergier, mayor of Bordeaux but also passionate viticulturist, inherited from his mother the Château Smith Haut Lafitte and made a Grand Cru. At the beginning of the century the Maison Louis Eschenauer realized the exceptional quality of this wine and ensured its diffusion, eventually buying the property in 1958. Since that time, important investments have been made, including the construction of a superb underground cellar which allows to raise at the same time more than 1000 barrels. In 1990, Daniel Cathiard fell in love with the vineyard and became part of the prestigious lineage of the owners with the intention to continue to value this noble vintage: his permanent search for excellence led him to handle harmoniously the techniques most modern vinification using traditional methods: living soil, organic compost, return to small oak vats, aging on lees in barrels … Without a doubt, the exemplary elegance of Smith Haut Lafitte’s red wines deserve this daily care.
Terroir & Vinification
The terroir of Château Smith Haut Lafitte is located on a mound of which 67 hectares planted in vines and covered with serious “Gunziennes” which offer two astonishing peculiarities: a natural drainage of the ground which forces the roots of the vines to fetch the water and the mineral salts more than meters deep, and a “mirror effect” of the sun, which, reflecting on the pebbles composing the grave, helps ripening and the blossoming of the grapes. The average age of the vines is 38 years old. The grape variety is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Concerned with the quality, the same operations in green are carried out for the whites and reds, to prepare the vines and clusters with the grape harvests: disbudding, suckering, stripping.
The grape harvests are by hand, Sauternaise, by successive tries picking only the bunches with good maturity, leaving the others to finish their maturation. The bunches are then pressed gently with inert pneumatic presses. During this pressing, bunches and juices are protected from oxidation by an inert gas (nitrogen) thus preserving all the aromatic potential and the color of the juice of the grapes. The juice flows by gravity to stainless steel tanks at 8 degrees for 24 hours settling. Natural fermentations then begin in barrels. They last from 8 to 20 days in general. Aging on total lees lasts from 10 to 12 months, with a proportion of 50% new barrels.
At the tasting, Château Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge offers freshness, power, liveliness, volume, creaminess and maturity.
Owners: Florence, Daniel CATHIARD and Alice TOURBIER CATHIARD
Commercial Director: Ludovic FRADIN
Technical Director: Fabien TEIGEN