2009 Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge

Year: 2009
Appellation: Pessac-Leognan
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 100
Vinous Media: 92-95
James Suckling: 96
Jeff Leve: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Pre-Order
Price :
$269.95

"This is really loaded, with crushed plum, blueberry, cassis, fig and blackberry paste flavors all melded together, along with notes of tar, pastis and violet. Very long and dark, but polished and pure, with terrific fruit offset by a great tug of earth on the finish. Should cruise easily in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2035." (WS)

"The finest wine ever made by proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the 2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte exhibits an opaque blue/purple color in addition to a glorious nose of acacia flowers, licorice, charcoal, blueberries, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings and incense. This massive, extraordinarily rich, unctuously textured wine may be the most concentrated effort produced to date, although the 2000, 2005 and 2010 are nearly as prodigious. A gorgeous expression of Pessac-Leognan with sweet tannin, emerging charm and delicacy, and considerable power, depth, richness and authority, it should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. Bravo!" (WA)

"Deep ruby-purple. Aromas of smoky plum, blackberry syrup, cinnamon and canele (a Bordeaux specialty made from a caramelized batter containing rum and vanilla) are very ripe but not exaggerated, and nicely lifted by floral and mineral topnotes. Very fresh in the mouth, with almost delicate but very deep flavors of dark berries, cedar and minerals. Finishes long and pure, with noticeable saline and grapey nuances. This highly successful wine manages a tricky balancing act between superripeness and just the right amount of freshness; in fact, this seems almost understated to me even though it boasts a extremely high IPT of 100 and possesses outstanding depth and substance. It also relies much less on oak for weight and structure than a couple of recent vintages, and therein lies a good measure of its success. Should be one of the red wine stars of '09." (VM)

"Intense aromas of blackberries with hints of green coffee beans and spices. Turns to currants and blackberries. Full bodied, with gorgeous velvety tannins and a long, long finish. The texture and fruit to this wine is captivating. Try after 2022." (JS)

"2009 Smith Haut Lafitte is dark ruby. Its nose is of truffle, earth, spice, smoke, coffee, berry and caramel. Full bodied and filled with ripe, fleshy, opulently textured fruit. If all the oak fully integrates (and I suspect it will), this will be a very strong wine. The fleshy finish has elements of chocolate, coffee, dark berries, and pit fruits." (JL)