The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte is fantastic. Rich, sumptuous and opulent, the 2017 dazzles with total class. Inky blue and purplish fruit, chocolate, licorice, menthol, sage and lavender infuse the 2017 with striking layers of depth and complexity. A wine of tremendous character and balance, the 2017 is flat-out gorgeous and very clearly one of the wines of the year.
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte charges out of the gate with bold expressions of warm redcurrants, baked blackberries and crème de cassis with hints of spice cake, dried roses, underbrush and pencil lead plus a waft of candied violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a fantastic core of densely packed red and black fruits, framed by wonderfully ripe, rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed. - LPB
Moving to the grand vin and a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot aged 16 months in 60% new French oak, the 2017 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is a beauty, with rocking levels of cassis and red currant fruits interwoven with hints of dried herbs, salty minerality, subtle oak, and crushed violets. Concentrated and full-bodied on the palate, it has ripe tannins, a great mid-palate, and tons of charm and character. This is one of those wines that will be beautiful in just 3-4 years and yet age effortlessly for three decades. Hats off to winemaker Fabien Teitgen for a brilliant effort in the vintage.
Intense blackberry and raspberry paste flavors run through the middle, flanked by steeped anise, black licorice and roasted apple wood notes. The finish is grounded by a strong graphite spine, while the fruit pumps through. A lingering echo of violet adds a graceful accent. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2038. 10,000 cases made.
In this well-structured, rich wine, Cabernet Sauvignon's ripe black-currant flavors merge with jammier Merlot. It is elegant and powerful, dense and poised. This style of wine will age impressively, likely to be ready from 2023 or, better, 2024.