2005 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
*Ranked #19, Top 100 Wines of 2008.* Honey, apple tart, light toffee, cream, and piecrust. Very complex and full-bodied, with lively acidity and beautiful clove honey, red apple, and lemon flavors. Long, balanced, and very lively. A massive white. Layered and beautiful. Made to age, but who can wait to drink this?
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A stunningly, rich, concentrated effort, the 2005 may be one of the finest whites Smith Haut-Lafitte has ever produced. It exhibits notes of honeyed oranges, honeysuckle, spring flowers, lemon grass, and melons. Gorgeous acidity, excellent concentration, and a beautiful texture result in an impressive, full-bodied wine to consume over the next two decades. 95+ (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Pale yellow. Pure aromas of grapefruit, lemon drop, pear and spicy, vanillin oak. Dense and sweet, with lovely floral lift and bright acids leavening the wine's creamy richness. This is wonderfully layered in the middle palate, and finishes with superb palate-staining persistence. 'The same blend as always,' says Florence Cathiard, 'but richer in every respect.' (ST)
Wine & Spirits
Clean and pure with beautiful ripeness, this wine's fruit has been concentrated and focused through oak aging, which blunts its full expression until it has long exposure to air (or enough time in bottle). As it opens, the stoniness of the wine develops along with potent flavors of quince and fresh melon. The structure is staunch, almost tannic in its grip, a powerful wine built for the cellar.
Full-bodied, this wine shows really ripe, generous fruit flavors, touched by wood, very round and intense. As an indication of its immaturity, the wood comes through to dominate the fruit. Give it 2-3 years.
Second fave. Mild, well balanced, neat nose – not flashy. Quite strongly Sauvignon at first then a good bottom of waxy Semillon character. Hint of smoke. Very satisfying wine. (18/20 points)
94 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted single blind at Southwold. This is closed on the nose with reluctant scents of grapefruit, dried honey and a touch of white peach, but just needing more lift. Good weight on the viscous palate, honey, a touch of marmalade, real weight towards the finish though modest length. Quite spicy and aromatic but it needs time to show its true worth. Patience is needed." (07/2009)