The Wonderful Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2014

5 December 2023

Château Smith Haut Lafitte has been flying high in recent years, with a string of blockbuster wines with scores to match. This year they even received a royal visit by Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla, on their State Visit to France. During a meeting some twenty years ago, the then Prince of Wales, an early advocate of sustainable agriculture, encouraged Daniel Cathiard to transition to 100% organic farming. Now they have gone even further and adopted a fully biodynamic approach.

The Cathiards’ very talented winemaker, Fabien Teitgen, who incidentally was awarded the winemaker of the year 2021 by the Guide Hachette, crafts voluptuous, sensual wines, which are nuanced and charming in equal measure. Neal Martin suggests the 2014 has an “almost Musigny-like” quality. High praise indeed. We think this is in a wonderful phase of its development, displaying a plushness of fruit, velvety tannins and just a hint of maturity. Whether you’re entertaining dignitaries or just your nearest and dearest, this is just the ticket for the big day.

The 2014 Smith-Haut-Lafitte has a fragrant mulberry and strawberry scented bouquet with cedar and subtle undergrowth scents emerging with time. There is something almost Musigny-like here (written as a complement incidentally—why not be compared to the greatest Burgundy Grand Cru?). The palate is medium-bodied with a soft and mellow opening. Quite spicy in the mouth with leather-tinged fruit on the open and inviting finish, there is something very approachable about this Smith-Haut-Lafitte, though like the 2014 Pape-Clement, it contains the substance to drink well over 10-15 years. 93/100” – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

In 2014 Smith Haut Lafitte produced an exceptionally soft, sexy Grand Vin. Dark cherry, plum, tobacco, licorice, menthol and red-toned fruit are all nicely delineated, while expressive floral notes give the wine a closing flourish of aromatic intensity. The 2014 is quite pretty, if a touch slender. It will drink well with minimal cellaring given its soft contours and supple, inviting personality. The blend is 62 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 % Merlot, 6 % Cabernet Franc and 2 % Petit Verdot. Tasted two times. 94/100” – Antonio Galloni, Vinous

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