2013 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1240339 95-96 points James Suckling

 Why drink Silex from Dagueneau? This is really something exceptional with incredible density and power. Full-bodied, dry and mineral and lemon zest with fabulous length and beauty. This is definitely one to buy in 2013.  (4/2014)

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. Best from 2017 through 2023. (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. The blend is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris. (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.  (6/2014)

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Varietal:

Semillon

- 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.
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.