2009 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1112974 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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!  (2/ 2012)

96 points James Suckling

 Aromas of flowers, dried citrus fruit and blueberries follow through to a full body, with firm and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Gorgeous fruit and structure. Polished and powerful. Best red ever from Smith. Best in 2018.  (4/ 2012)

96 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (3/ 2012)

93-95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Robust and rich wine, balancing well the rich fruits, flavors of plum juice and sweetness along with very firm, solid tannins.  (8/ 2010)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright red-ruby. Enticing aromas of blueberry, flowers, graphite and charred, nutty oak, plus a sexy suggestion of floral white fruit. Like liquid silk on entry, then concentrated and lush in the middle, with red plum, tobacco and mineral flavors given definition by lovely harmonious acidity. Utterly seamless wine with suave tannins. Voluminous and intense but not a powerhouse. Finishing flavors mount slowly and stain the palate without leaving any impression of weight. Conveys a beautiful impression of site and vintage. The most complete young Smith Haut Laffite I've yet tasted at this early stage; perhaps my score will ultimately prove to be conservative.  (7/ 2012)

K&L Notes

Smith Haut Lafitte - Grand Cru Classe de Graves is planted to 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot on the gravelly soils of Pessac-Leognon, in the Graves region. With a vineyard history going back to the 14th century, the property is now owned and run by Daniel and Florence Cathiard who have lavished attention on this fantastic property and brought it to a wonderful state. So good in fact that the Wine Advocate rewarded this wonderful vintage with a perfect score.

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By: Jeff Garneau |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/26/2012  | Send Email
A standout at both the château and the UGC. Exotic spice and very sweet red fruits. Fine-grained tannins.

By: Ralph Sands |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/26/2012  | Send Email
Ripe and earthy, sweet and natural.

By: Clyde Beffa Jr. |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/26/2012  | Send Email
** Sweet aromas of toasty oak, coffee, chocolate, cedar and red fruits. Good length and mouthfeel. Sexy and silky. Its high alcohol is hidden by its tremendous fruit. At UGC: Earthy aromas and flavors. Great depth. Smooth on the palate.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

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 Médoc 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.
Country:

France

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- 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.