2013 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
**½ to *** 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot.