2015 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1253302 96-97 points James Suckling

 A beautiful white with pretty density and richness. Bright and clear with intense aromas and flavors of lilacs and stones. Some violet. Full and bright. Firm phenolic tension. Bright acidity.  (3/2016)

96 points Decanter

 This is a great white wine, although not quite up to the standard set by the red in this vintage. It starts fairly undemonstratively, but it quickly builds in power, density and texture, and the salinity on the finish gives a welcome kick. It has grip and flesh, with peach juice and nectarine flavours. Currently undergoing biodynamic conversion. (JA)  (3/2018)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 I was able to taste the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc twice and it showed beautifully on both occasions. Based on 90% Sauvignon Blanc and the balance Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris, aged in plenty of new wood, this ripe, sexy 2015 knocks it out of the park with its citrus oil, caramelized lemons, tangerine and honeysuckle aromatics. This palate doesn’t lose a beat either and is full-bodied and concentrated, with vibrant acidity and blockbuster length. I’d drink bottles over the coming 10-15 years, yet I suspect it will keep longer. It’s in the top 2-3 whites of the vintage.  (11/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Composed of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris, the Smith Haut Lafitte 2015 Blanc has an incredibly compelling nose of ripe apricots, passion fruit, honeyed lemons and crushed stones with a hint of lime blossoms. Medium-bodied, super intense and super minerally, the palate sings of stone fruit and citrus layers with plenty of zip and zing, finishing with incredible persistence, alluring fruitiness and a savory contrast that will keep you reaching for another glass. 96+ (LPB)  (2/2018)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Piercing and pure, with vibrant honeysuckle and chamomile flower notes followed by grapefruit, lemon and white peach flavors. The finish ripples with energy, while fleur de sel and gooseberry accents fill in. Terrific length. Best from 2019 through 2029. (JM)  (3/2018)

95 points Vinous

 In 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is rich, sumptuous and incredibly inviting, with no hard edges and fabulous balance. Even with all of its obvious intensity, the 2015 retains a good bit of freshness. Naturally, the 2015 leans toward the richer end of the spectrum in 2015, yet all of the signatures are very much in place. The aromatics aren't fully expressive. It will be interesting to see what time brings. (AG)  (2/2018)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Tight and firm, this young wine has great potential. The richness, good acidity and minerality promise a great future. Densely textured, it is powerful and very rich. (RV)  (4/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 5% 24-year-old Sauvignon Gris, 5% Sémillon, the rest Sauvignon Blanc - used to be 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Ploughed by horses for the last 15 years. They still have eight horses, boasted winemaker Fabien. 'Too many,' muttered co-owner Florence Cathiard. Fabien stopped skin maceration about four years ago to make the wine last longer. Broad and rich. Perfumed. Quite rich. Long and broad.  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

94 points Neal Martin: "The Smith-Haut-Lafitte 2015 Blanc has a very subtle, nuanced bouquet at first that demands more coaxing, but eventually it offers lovely citrus peel, linden, wet stone and yellow flower scents that gather momentum with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with beautifully integrated new oak. It is a more discrete style of Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc compared to recent vintages, a wine that will repay those with the patience to give this two or more years in bottle. Very sophisticated. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2035." (02/2018)

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Price: $129.99

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Additional Information:

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.