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They know what they’re doing at Smith-Haut-Lafitte. This is one of the few properties in Bordeaux that really engages with the end customer, and one that is particularly aware of the commercial realities of what they are making. The Cathiards, owners since 1990, have a clear ambition – to be the best – and they are well on this road.  Their 2014 epitomises all that is good about about the vintage: phenolic ripeness, terroir and completeness.

We had tasted both the red and white 2014 in their component parts earlier in the year, and came away impressed.  The wines in their complete form fulfill that original promise

The trick that Smith-Haut-Lafitte manage to pull off, year after year, is the balance between glossy, attractive fruit and genuine Graves character.  They make a wine that will both please the professionals (and Smith always excels in blind tastings) and seduce the consumer.  Isn’t that what a wine is supposed to do?

Fans of Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc will also be pleased this year: they have made a precise, deep and mineral 2014.  This really is an estate on form.

“Relatively dark and staining the glass. Some “Smith” density here. Lovely sweet fruit in the mouth. All here and there is structure to this. This is complete, and exactly as it should be. A touch of mocha on top of perfectly balanced fruit. Full. Not over-done, perfectly weighted.  93-95.”  Joss Fowler, FINE+RARE

Joss Fowler
Director of Fine Wine

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