2000 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1006922 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One can’t say enough about this winery, which may still fly under the radar of most consumers. The fully mature 2000 displays gorgeous aromas of camphor, lead pencil shavings, unsmoked tobacco, plums, and black currants. With full body, a velvety texture, and beautiful weight, richness, and length, this superb wine should evolve, possibly improve for another 15 years. It’s a beauty! (RP)  (6/2010)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 No tasting note given.  (12/2003)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 The Cathiards have made a polished wine with generous fruit. It manages to combine a modern, rich style with a lightness of touch and freshness of fruit which make it instantly attractive. (RV)  (6/2003)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Showing a bit more maturity than some peers, this pushes singed cedar and smoldering alder flavors to the fore, along with well-mulled currant and fig fruit notes backed by a prominent tobacco edge on the finish. There's a pretty sweetness of fruit here, even though this is fully into a secondary phase. (JM, Web-2016)

90 points James Suckling

 This wine begins with a delicious nose of plums, berries, and hints of toasted oak on the nose. On the palate it is full-bodied and round, with some good fruit and a soft finish with lots of chocolate.  (3/2011)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full ruby. Roasted red and black fruits, smoke and licorice on the nose. Powerful, even a bit aggressive, with less sweetness and subtlety than the subsequent vintages. Finishes with big, chewy, ripe tannins and lingering notes of tobacco and leather. Very Graves in style. (ST) 90+  (5/2003)

Jancis Robinson

 Magnum. Dark, blackish ruby with a still-lively rim. Dark, glowing, blackish ruby. Lift and some vaguely Asian spices (or do I mean ladies’ handbags?). Interesting aromas anyway and nicely blended into a mature bouquet. Not pushy in any way. In fact rather muted and low key, but a lovely balance of ripeness and freshness. Just slightly dry on the end – I wonder whether they were experimenting with oak at this time? A little bit dry on the end. Some energy and pulsating force. Some dry tannins on the end. Lusciousness. Charm but not great density. Hint of green apple on the finish. 17.5/20 points (JR)  (3/2015)

K&L Notes

95 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted blind at Bordeaux Index’s 2000 tasting in London. Taciturn on the nose at first, but coquettishly opening up with pure red-fruits, espresso, cedar and a touch of the old dusty antique bureau. Good definition. The palate is full-bodied, firm tannins, a touch of spice on the entry, a citric thread that counterbalanced the dense, ripe black fruit. This is nowhere near ready, but all the elements are here for a great wine, with notes of blackberry, cedar, graphite wild strawberry and freshly rolled tobacco. Persistent, grippy and utterly convincing. Drink now-2030." (09/2010)

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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.