2005 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)