2014 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1201335 95-97 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Barrel Sample* This is a finely fruity wine—all tangy acidity, crisp lemon and stone fruit. The wood aging shows in the notes of toast and burnt spice. It should all integrate well as it develops into a seriously ageworthy wine.  (4/2015)

94-97 points Wine Spectator

 *Barrel Tasting* This crackles with energy, while a mix of white peach, yellow apple, Chartreuse, chamomile and green plum notes all mix together. The finish is still coiled up, but there's range and length here to spare.  (4/2015)

95-96 points James Suckling

 This is a phenomenal young white with wonderful depth and finesse. Amazing aromas and flavors of lavender, lemon peels, sliced apples, lilacs and minerals. Full body, intense fruit and a long, long finish. Superb depth and intensity.  (3/2015)

93-96 points Vinous

 A real head-turner, the 2014 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is all about texture, silkiness and polish. All the elements come together in a gracious, supple wine that captures the personality of the year in its interplay of seamless, richly-layered fruit and explosive energy. Hints of pear, white stone fruits, jasmine and mint meld into a finish of incomparable finesse. (AG)  (4/2015)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2014 is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% each of Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris matured in 50% new oak. Curiously, it seems less expressive than the Le Petit Haut Lafitte and Les Haut de Smith at the moment. This is very taciturn in comparison but leaving it aside for 10-15 minutes it finally reveals chalk and oyster shell scents. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp acidity and sharp citric fruit, but it feels quite linear on the finish, does not really deliver the knock-out punch that other vintages deliver. Hopefully it will muster something more to say throughout the remainder of its barrel maturation. (NM)  (4/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris, 5% Sémillon. Very rich, full and broad. Good acidity and undertow. Melons and grapefruit flavours but with a strong mineral element and the substance to develop. (17/20 points)  (3/2015)

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Price: $84.99

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By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/11/2015 | Send Email
Another bright star! Despite the high amount of Sauvignon Blanc (80%), this wine has no grassiness at all. Perhaps due to the old age of their vines, the north exposure that ensures a late maturity of its grapes and what they call their “secret weapon” Sauvignon Gris (5%), which brings its own aromatics and spices, and of course Semillon (5%) with its texture, and bee wax notes. The nose has a delicate citrus note with some cream and a touch of wood spices in the background. The palate is a gorgeous amalgamation of all of the above, along with a juicy acidity that holds everything in place and brings a perfect balance to this wine. Did I mention that they are practicing organic farming techniques? A beauty!

Additional Information:


Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.


- 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.