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2004 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1029104 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A sensational effort and one of the stars of the vintage, Smith-Haut-Lafitte’s 2004 possesses an inky/blue/purple-tinged color as well as a sumptuous nose of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, blueberries, and blackberries. Surprisingly full-bodied for the vintage with stunning concentration, purity, and overall harmony, this is another brilliant wine from the proprietors, the Cathiards, who have done such a spectacular job at this estate since the early 1990s. (RP)  (6/2007)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 The Cathiards have scored with their 2004. It is rich and dense, but keeps a fine sense of structure. While the tannins are dusty, almost sweet, they keep good balance with the elegant fruit and the enticing acidity. Keep for five years plus. (RV)  (6/2007)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. Roasted red fruits, smoked meat, tobacco and a note of truffle on the expressive nose. Sweet and rather primary, with classic Pessac-Leognan flavors of iron, woodsmoke, hot stones and tobacco. Broad and smooth for the year, if not quite as dense as the young 2006. Finishes with lovely ripe tannins and lingering sweetness. This will offer early pleasure.  (5/2007)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Lots of blackberry, spice and tobacco on the nose, with hints of cigar box. Full-bodied, with soft, round tannins and a dark chocolate and fruit aftertaste. Balanced and caressing. Best after 2009. (JS)  (3/2007)

K&L Notes

Black fruits on the nose and palate. Straightforward with fine structure. Has good middle palate weight. More classic than their 2003.

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Price: $79.99
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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.


- 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.


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.