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

SKU #1253303 97-98 points James Suckling

 This is a very polished and precise young wine with beautiful depth and intensity. Full and sexy. It shows blueberry and black currant character with walnut and chocolate undertones. The tannins have a lovely texture. Joy to taste.  (3/2016)

97 points Decanter

 This is exceptionally good, with extremely well placed damson and cassis fruit, a brush of caramel, smoked bacon and bitter chocolate. There's layer upon layer of flavour here, all spliced together by the most beautiful, juicy acidity. This is a Smith Haut Lafitte that has improved during barrel ageing, and will deepen even further in bottle. Bright, grippy acidity gives those fine tannins a bounce, and overall the texture is silky but with teeth lurking beneath. As of 2017, 40% of the vineyard is biodynamic, accounting for almost the entirety of the grand vin. And a black and gold label this year, continuing the trend! (JA)  (3/2018)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This vintage is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, matured in 65% new oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple, the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte has a totally dazzling nose of exotic spices—star anise, fenugreek and Sichuan pepper—over a core of chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries, plum preserves, violets and earthy wafts of truffles, moss, tilled black soil and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced and packing a lot of flavor into a relatively modest package, it fills the mouth with spice and herb-laced black and blue fruit layers, supported by very ripe, very finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length. This is already a show-stopping, heart-pounding beauty, but should also age incredibly! (LPB)  (2/2018)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Another wine from the Cathiard family I was able to taste on multiple occasions is the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte and it’s brilliant stuff readers should snatch up. Offering a huge nose of chocolatey dark fruits, roasted herbs, graphite and flowers, this big, rich, opulent beauty has building tannin, loads of structure and great mid-palate. It will drink nicely for 20+ years. 96+  (11/2017)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 This wine is dense in expressive, dark fruit and solid tannins which give it a rich, enveloping feel. With its spicy score and crisp acidity, there is great potential for aging. (RV)  (4/2018)

96 points Wine Spectator

 This pumps out some serious blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry and black currant fruit flavors, with the texture of compote and a racy edge thanks to a terrific bolt of graphite that runs throughout. Waves of anise, roasted apple wood and tobacco drive the finish, with the fruit keeping pace easily. Destined for a long life. Best from 2025 through 2045. *Highly Recommended* (JM)  (3/2018)

95 points Vinous

 Explosive and powerful in the glass, the 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte is going to need time to come into its own. Black cherry, gravel, smoke, bittersweet chocolate, leather, licorice and savory herbs effortlessly fill out the wine's ample frame. The 2015 is an especially dark, concentrated Smith Haut Lafitte. Swaths of tannin carry the wine into a huge finish accented by hints of raspberry jam, chocolate, leather and tobacco. Today, the 2015 is more power than finesse. It will be interesting to see how things develop from here. 95+ points. (AG)  (2/2018)

K&L Notes

95+ points Neal Martin: "The 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte has a lush and generous bouquet with black cherries, raspberry and rose petal scents, those shucked oyster shells that I noticed out of barrel surfacing with aeration. There is wonderful purity here and it blossoms with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, layers of red berry fruit, allspice, cedar and tobacco with a structure and insistent finish that suggests it will age over many years. This is a sophisticated young Smith Haut Lafitte, precocious in talent and bound to age with style and class. This is a seriously fine Smith Haut Lafitte that I feel will get better and better with age. One to watch. Anticipated maturity: 2020 - 2045." (02/2018)

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Price: $124.99

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This product is expected to arrive for shipment or pickup by Monday, October 1, 2018.

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Staff Image By: Philip Bohorfoush | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/5/2016 | Send Email
**One of the wines of the vintage** Dark and deep robe. Begins with a brooding, massive core of pure dark fruits, blackberry coulis, crème de cassis, black cherry, espresso crema, and graphite. Intense and built with a weighty mouthfeel and firm tannins. For the Cathiards, no detail is overlooked from whole cluster fermentation, gravity flow, optical sorting, and even the state of the art use of satellite imagery to assist in optimal harvest times. Pessac-Léognan made stunning wines in 2015 and Smith Haut Lafitte is one of the finest.

Staff Image By: Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/3/2016 | Send Email
Smith Haut Lafitte- 63%CS 33M Round and broad with loads of grapey ripe-sweet fruit that coat the entire mouth with hints of licorice and spice. Long finishing and very tasty. Another delicious SHL! 2 Stars!

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/3/2016 | Send Email
I consider anything above fifty bucks to be a splurge bottle, but with Bordeaux anything that drinks as well as the 2015 SHL for less than a hundred dollars is a hot deal! This wine was right there with the Pape Clement for me personally. It's a complex wine--all about the relationship between the fruit and the potent minerality. The tannins are soft and round on the palate and the wine is silky on the finish. Finesse is a word you'll hear a lot when describing the 2015 Bordeaux vintage. There are few better examples than this wine here.

Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/4/2016 | Send Email
The all black label for the 2015 will represent the 25th year anniversary of the Cathiard’s buying the property. The 2015 is dark, black in color with a rich, nearly exotic fruit profile, hints of graphite, cassis, chocolate and Asian spice. The tannins are fleshy and juicy; this is a delicious wine!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
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.