***Number 9 in 2016 Top 100.*** This has a gorgeous feel, with opulent fruit offset by racy herb notes and acidity, showing lemon sherbet, shortbread and white peach flavors backed by a salted butter– and tarragon-laced finish, with hints of talc and fennel skittering in the background. Seriously long and still a touch youthful on the finish, this is one for the cellar. Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Sémillon. Best from 2017 through 2023.
The noble Bosq family started growing grapes here as early as 1365. The property was purchased in the 18th century by Scotsman George Smith, who gave the estate its present name. He also built the manor house and exported his – by now famous – wine to England on his own ships.
In 1842, Mr. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux and an enthusiastic winegrower, inherited Château Smith Haut Lafitte from his mother and brought the wine up to great growth status.
Bettane and Desseauve Smith qualified the 2006 Smith Haut Lafitte as “Remarkable and inimitable”.
The great white wines of Smith Haut Lafitte are, in fact, remarkable thanks to their strong personality, and inimitable because they reflect the essence of our terroir. We do everything within our power to bring out and enhance this personality.
We pick the grapes entirely by hand in several waves, just like in Sauternes, to harvest only the ripest, healthiest, bunches, leaving the others behind to ripen further.
The grapes are gently pressed in pneumatic winepresses in a nitrogen atmosphere. During this pressing, the grapes and the juice are protected from oxidation by a blanket of inert nitrogen gas. This retains all the wine's colour and aromatic potential.
« I can indeed choose a pressing method which is soft and long-lasting, an extraction of the juices under low pressure, without risking oxidation and thus we are able to extract all the qualitative potential of our grapes. » Fabien TEITGEN, Technical Director
The juice goes into stainless steel vats via gravity flow at a temperature of 8°C for cold settling lasting 24 hours, after which the wine is put into barrel.
The alcoholic fermentation takes place there under entirely natural conditions. This generally lasts for 8-20 days.
Ageing on the lees lasts 10-12 months, in 50% new oak barrels. These are regularly topped up, stirred with a stick (bâtonnage), and tasted. It is quite a challenge to manage this barrel ageing and find just the right proportion of new oak: The structure and power of our white Smith Haut Lafitte is well-suited to this percentage of new oak, and is very complementary. Oak ageing adds vanilla, toasty nuances that integrate beautifully with the wine's intrinsic aromatics.
The wine is entirely château-bottled on an ultra-modern bottling line in a nitrogen atmosphere to guarantee the quality and ageing potential of our great wines.
Food Pairing Notes
Try this wine, or others like it, with this Jacques Pépin–inspired recipe for Garlic-Parsley Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Spinach.
This has a gorgeous feel, with opulent fruit offset by racy herb notes and acidity, showing lemon sherbet, shortbread and white peach flavors backed by a salted butter– and tarragon-laced finish, with hints of talc and fennel skittering in the background. Seriously long and still a touch youthful on the finish, this is one for the cellar. Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Sémillon. Best from 2017 through 2023.