These vineyards have expanded over time to reach 80 hectares in a single block. The owners and technical director live at opposite ends of the estate, which benefits from round-the-clock monitoring, ensuring responsive action in case of poor weather. In this ocean of vines, seven red and white grape varieties are grown and blended to create Château Smith Haut Lafitte wines.
The estate owes its reputation as “the quintessential Graves” to both the smoky notes of its wines and its hilly terroir (Laffite or Lafite in old French), consisting of semi-precious and river stones deposited by the Garonne millions of years ago. Composed of Günz gravel, Smith Haut Lafitte’s terroir boasts two astonishing features: superb natural drainage forcing the vine roots to sink deep to extract water and mineral salts over six metres below the surface, and a “mirror effect” reflecting the sun’s rays on the gravelly soil for optimum ripening.
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Les Hauts de Smith opens with cedar and baked redcurrants with a core of warm cassis, baked plums and forest floor. Medium-bodied, the palate is soft with bags of expressive black fruits and a spicy kick lifting the finish. [90 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown – April 2017, robertparker.com]