2005 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1042239 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This sensational, opaque blue/purple-colored wine from Smith Haut Lafitte has a gorgeous floral nose with notes of graphite, blueberries, blackberries, and cassis that jump from the glass of this inky, very dense, yet strikingly pure wine. Light on its feet despite its stunning concentration and multi-layered mouthfeel, this wine has fabulous intensity, richness and length. Quite impressive, and still incredibly youthful, this is a superstar of the vintage, and capable of lasting another 25-30 years. (RP)  (6/2015)

95 points James Suckling

 An impressive nose of spices, dark fruits, and fresh forest flowers. Full-bodied, this has a solid core of fruit and super polished tannins. A fabulous wine, showing great structure and harmony, and a long, long finish. Beautiful stuff.  (3/2011)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 The Cathiards have invested heavily in this property since they purchased it in the early 1990s. It is one of the great terroirs of the Graves, a raised plateau of gravel where the vines produce a rich and powerful wine. That power is amplified in a vintage like 2005 into a huge, cassis-driven red with the velvet feel of a favorite childhood pillow. The Cathiards do not spare the new oak, a character that dominates this young wine, while the fruit underneath feels healthy and clean, vibrating with tension, set for a long life ahead.  (10/2008)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good fresh red-ruby color. Reticent but pure aromas of plum, mocha and tobacco. This began sweet and dense but a bit sullen, then exploded with aeration to show sharply delineated flavors of plum, tobacco, hot stones and smoked meat. Wonderfully fat and full wine that spreads out on the back to saturate the entire palate... Very long on the aftertaste. (ST)  (6/2008)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Very grapey, with black licorice and mineral character. Full-bodied, with hints of new wood and spices. Big and velvety. This is balanced and very silky, with harmonious yet chewy tannins. This is a different style from the 2003, but it's equally impressive. A wonderful young wine.  (3/2008)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Full-bodied, this wine shows really ripe, generous fruit flavors, touched by wood, very round and intense. As an indication of its immaturity, the wood comes through to dominate the fruit.  (6/2008)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson. High toned and spicy. Lots tucked in there for the future. Masses of tannin promises well for the future but it’s all a little embryonic for now. Even slightly medicinal. Definitely not for now. Sweeter and spicier than the Domaine de Chevalier tasted alongside. (17++/20 points)  (1/2015)

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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.


- 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.