2013 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1159056 96 points James Suckling

 Dense yet agile Smith with dried apple, lemon, aniseed, and gunpowder aromas and flavors. Some stones too. Full body, very racy and fine.  (2/2016)

96 points Wine Spectator

 This has a gorgeous feel, with opulent fruit offset by racy herb notes and acidity as lemon sherbet, shortbread and white peach flavors are backed by a salted butter– and tarragon-laced finish. Hints of talc and fennel skitter in the background. Seriously long and still a touch youthful on the finish, this is one for the cellar. Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Sémillon. (JM)  (12/2015)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This spectacular dry white is usually 90% Sauvignon Blanc and the balance Sauvignon Gris. Copious notes/aromas of peach, honeyed grapefruit, spring flowers and a caramelized melony aspect can be found in this very elegant, pure, complex dry white. Medium-bodied, crisp, fresh and deep, this 2013 can evolve for 12-15 years or more. (RP)  (8/2014)

93-95 points Vinous

 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. (AG)  (4/2014)

91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 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. (ID)  (6/2014)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Still tight, this wine needs time to reveal its potential. Hints of the tropical fruits, fresh acidity and light spice and toast remain masked for the moment, just needing aging. Drink from 2019. (RV)  (3/2016)

90 points Decanter

 Lemon yellow, slightly floral fruits, very good weight, length and complexity to come out. (SS)  (4/2014)

K&L Notes

92-94 points 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)

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Price: $104.99
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Staff Image By: Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/28/2014 | Send Email
90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris. Beautiful aromas of white flowers and vanilla on the nose. Persistent green apple fruit on the palate and throughout the long finish. Another outstanding winner for your chicken dinner! **

Staff Image By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/28/2014 | Send Email
*** A full-bodied wine, has more oak than most of its counterparts, tropical fruit as well as citrus notes dominate the wine with a slightly saline quality on the finish.

Additional Information:



- A rich, viscous, full-flavored but subtly-scented and botrytis-prone white grape, Sémillon reaches magical heights when infected with "noble rot" and combined with even small amounts of the aromatic and high-acid Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes, one of the world's most revered and longest-lived wines, and in the sweet wines of surrounding regions like Barsac. Sémillon's most famous incarnation is in the wines of Château d'Yquem, one of the world's most expensive wines, and one that has been known to evolve for centuries. It frequently dominates, but not by much, in the oak-aged whites of Bordeaux's Graves and Pessac-Léognan, creating honeyed and viscous wines that are unlike any others. Elsewhere in Bordeaux and around France it takes on a supporting role in the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers and the Médoc. While planted throughout France, Europe, California and Washington, Sémillon's role as underling usually keeps it out of the spotlight with a few winery-specific exceptions. However, the grape is allowed to shine in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it is used to make an elegant dry wine often called, perplexingly, Hunter Valley Riesling. It also makes some incredible dry, oaked wines from the Barossa and lovely stickies in the style of Sauternes.


- 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.