2013 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
A talc note gives way quickly to straw, verbena and shortbread flavors at the core, along with macadamia nut, lemon curd and brioche. Richly layered, with impressive range, this flattering style has nicely embedded acidity to carry it all. A gorgeous white in the making.
Why drink Silex from Dagueneau? This is really something exceptional with incredible density and power. Full-bodied, dry and mineral and lemon zest with fabulous length and beauty. This is definitely one to buy in 2013.
The 2013 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is beautiful, but it is going to need time in bottle before offering its best drinking. Today, the 2013 is intensely mineral and tightly wound, both of which bode extremely well for the future. The combination of aging in barrel on the lees but blocking the malolactic fermentation results in a white of unusual texture, pedigree and pure class. Fans of the Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, and that includes me, will not want to miss the 2013. The blend is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris.
Barrel Sample. Fragrant, fruity, ripe and spicy, this is an impressive wine. The wood balances the fruitiness, giving a sense of structure, while crisp acidity gives the wine a fine lift at the end.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(90% sauvignon blanc, 5% semillon and 5% sauvignon gris; 50% new oak): Bright straw yellow. Captivating aromas of tangerine, lemon, grapefruit, white flowers and aromatic herbs. Bright and juicy on the palate, with a laser beam of acidity lifting the bitter grapefruit, yellow melon and lemon verbena flavors. Finishes long, clean and savory, with sneaky concentration to the flint and saline nuances. One of the best white wines from this estate in memory. Technical director Fabien Teitgen noted that "in 2103, our ability to identify ripeness levels in our different plots and to monitor leaf growth and development via satellite imagery allowed us to harvest and then vinify individual parcels in small wooden vats at the best possible point in time, which was a big help." Teitgen also believes that the optical sorting machines were especially useful in 2013 and help explain the outstanding quality of this 2013 white.
92-94 Neal Martin: "A blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% each of Semillon and Sauvignon Gris, the Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc has a tightly wound bouquet: sultry at the moment with light gooseberry and Granny Smith apples. The palate is well balanced with a fine line of acidity, citrus lemon and lime zest, with a gradual build towards its precise finish. Excellent. Tasted March 2014." (Wine Journal)