2013 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1159057 91-94 points James Suckling

 This is very, very fresh with a bright berry and currant character. Medium to full body, with fine tannins. Very pretty finish. Subtle and delicate. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, and a touch of cabernet franc and petit verdot.  (4/2014)

90-93 points Vinous

 One of the most exciting wines of the year, the 2013 Smith Haut Lafitte graces the palate with an exotic melange of dark red/black fruit, violets, menthol, new leather, crushed rocks and dried herbs. The 2013 doesn't have the grip or structure of the very best years, but it is nevertheless striking and will drink well pretty much right out of the gate. This is an especially tender, young Smith Haut Lafitte. The 2013 is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.  (4/2014)

89-92 points Wine Spectator

 Open and fresh, with a caressing edge to the plum, raspberry and lilac notes, lined with a subtle twinge of singed vanilla on the finish. Restrained for now, but shows lovely length.  (4/2014)

89-91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Barrel Sample. This wine is fruity, smooth and softly textured. It has fresh acidity and a juicy black currant character. Not for long-term aging.  (4/2014)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot; 60% new oak): Bright red. Aromatic herbs complicate minty strawberry and cinnamon aromas; this seems quite backward still. Juicy acidity lifts the simple but smooth red cherry, clove and licorice flavors. Much less green and tannic than most other 2013 reds. Stephane Derenoncourt, the consulting enologist here, told me he thought the merlot planted on clay-limestone plots at Smith Haut Lafitte gave the wine a sexy minty violet note that was especially obvious this year.  (6/2014)

K&L Notes

**½ to *** 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot.

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Price: $64.99
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Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/28/2014 | Send Email
Excellent sweet core of fruit, surrounded by hints of minerals and earth, with a firm tannic finish. Enough sweet middle fruit to carry the tannins. Good wine! 90-92 points.

Staff Image By: Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/28/2014 | Send Email
Smith stays true to their international style by making a deliciously rich and round wine with lots of red-blue fruits and a warm, soft mouth feel. A touch of spice, minerality and tannin on the finish. Lovely mid-term drinker. *

Staff Image By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/28/2014 | Send Email
Displays nice minerality, large-scaled; there's good deep dark berry fruit along with tell-tale signs of black licorice and tar. Goes back to a style seen in 2003-2008 wines.

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:


- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.