Chateau Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc 2018

SKU
PHBP201810 UCAU
  • James Suckling: 97/100 "Very dense and deep with glorious fruit."
  • Jeb Dunnuck: 96/100 "Deeper, richer, yet still racy and vibrant."
  • "Gorgeous notes of tart pineapple, crushed citrus, salty minerality, and white flowers."
  • 1 or more bottles
    $77.70
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  • James Suckling
    97 points
  • Matthew Jukes
    18.5 points
  • Jeb Dunnuck
    96 points

Editors notes

Taken from mostly older vines (60+ years), this brings much more intensity and depth to the whole. The breadth of flavour here is staggering and the acid is crystalline and electric. There is some power here and some weight, too, and yet it still manages to give the illusion of being light on its feet. This will age for a very long time, given the quality of the acidity and the completeness of the oak integration.

- Matthew Jukes

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Lemon
    • Mineral
    • White Flowers
  • Palate
    • Lemon Zest
    • Slate
    • Stonefruit

Food Pairings

  • Asian
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Critic Scores & reviews

  • James Suckling

    97
    "This is very dense and deep with glorious fruit and a creamy textured, very long finish. A superb young white. Energetic yet textured. Lots of sliced-lemon, lime and apple character with some cream. Top."
  • Matthew Jukes

    18.5
    "Taken from mostly older vines (60+ years), this brings much more intensity and depth to the whole. The breadth of flavour here is staggering and the acid is crystalline and electric. There is some power here and some weight, too, and yet it still manages to give the illusion of being light on its feet. This will age for a very long time, given the quality of the acidity and the completeness of the oak integration."
  • Jeb Dunnuck

    96
    "The grand vin is the 2018 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, which is mostly Sauvignon Blanc with 5% each of Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris, that’s being brought up in 50% new French oak. Deeper, richer, yet still racy and vibrant, it has gorgeous notes of tart pineapple, crushed citrus, salty minerality, and white flowers. Rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied, it's unquestionably one of the whites of the vintage."

Other vintages

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Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux has a rich history of winemaking, dating back to the Roman times. Today, it is known as one of the most significant wine regions in the world, with a reputation for producing complex, full-bodied red wines. The region is home to a diverse range of terroirs, each with its own unique microclimate, soil composition, and grape varieties.

The left bank of Bordeaux is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives in the region's gravelly soils. These wines tend to be bold, tannic, and complex, with notes of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco. On the right bank, Merlot is king, producing wines that are softer and fruitier, with notes of plum, cherry, and chocolate.

Aside from the red blends, Bordeaux is also renowned for its sweet wines, particularly from the Sauternes and Barsac appellations. These wines are made using a unique process that involves botrytis, or "noble rot," which concentrates the sugars in the grapes, resulting in a lusciously sweet and complex wine.

Bordeaux's classification system has evolved over time, with some estates moving up or down the ranks depending on the quality of their wines. Today, the system includes five growths, with Premier Cru being the highest and Deuxièmes Crus being the second-highest. There is also a separate classification for the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac, with Chateau d’Yquem holding the highest rank.

Overall, Bordeaux is a region that continues to captivate wine enthusiasts around the world with its rich history, diverse terroirs, and exceptional wines.

Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Léognan is a small Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) and subregion within the Graves AOC in Bordeaux, France. It includes one Premier Cru from the 1855 classification, as well as all of the Cru Classé properties within the Graves classification. (This classification, established in 1959, is a list based on pricing, renown, and quality – judged by tasting. Overall, 16 classified châteaux fall under the Graves classification for their red wines, their white wines, or both, and all sit within Pessac-Léognan.) The terroir in this AOC benefits from the area’s gravel soils as well as the moderating effect of the Garonne River. Pessac-Léognan has a reputation for both high-quality red and white wines, producing significantly more reds than whites. The exceptional white wines are usually blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. They are typically barrel-fermented and -aged, with many age-worthy for 10 years or more. On the nose, you’ll find pronounced aromas of gooseberry, lemon, and grapefruit alongside vanilla and clove notes from the oak influence. On the palate, these whites are dry and full-bodied. Pessac-Léognan reds have aromas of red berry, violet, earth, and spice, alongside mineral, nutty, and smoky notes.

About the brand Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Bordeaux’s Château Smith Haut Lafitte estate dates back to the 14th century with the house of Verrier Du Boscq, who planted vines on a gravelly plateau named Lafitte. Scotsman Georges Smith bought the estate in 1720, adding his name to the place. The Louis Eschenauer company, who had been distributing these wines since the early 1900s, bought the estate in 1958. Then, in 1990, Daniel and Florence Cathiard fell in love with the château and bought it, with the aim of perpetuating its tradition of excellence. The château falls under the Pessac-Léognan appellation and is ranked among the Crus Classés for red wine in the Classification of Graves wine of 1953 and 1959. The winery and vineyards sit south of Bordeaux in the commune of Martillac. The vineyard is a single block (now 80 hectares) on a Günz gravel plateau and produces six wines – both red and white. Each boasts its own unique blend and distinctive aromatic profile.

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