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2006 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1048350 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted at Bordeaux Index's annual 10-Year On tasting in London. The 2006 Château Smith Haut-Lafitte has an intriguing bouquet with surprising mineral intensity coming through the pure blackberry and cassis fruit. The oak here is beautifully assimilated. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a keen line of acidity, quite structured in the mouth, but that mineralité continues right to the finish that attenuates ever such a little. This is a thoroughbred Pessac-Léognan for the vintage. (NM)  (5/2016)

92 points Vinous

 Full red-ruby. Expressive nose offers plum, black raspberry, tobacco, mocha, truffle, licorice and herbs. Suave, fine-grained and vibrant; generous and plush yet light on its feet. Finishes very long and classy, with sweet tannins, terrific energy and palate-coating persistence and perfume. Not as fat or full as the 2005, but just a step behind that wine. (ST)  (5/2009)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Gorgeous aromas of dark chocolate, cappuccino and berries lead to a full body, with luscious fruit and round tannins. Long and voluptuous for the vintage. Impressive. Best after 2014. (JS)  (3/2009)

90 points John Gilman

 In a landscape in the Graves that is getting thinner and thinner in terms of traditional wines, it is wonderful to see Smith Haut Lafite going in the opposite direction of so many of its neighbors and making better wines today than it did a generation ago. The nose on the 2006 rouge is excellent, as this classic middleweight offers up an excellent blend of plums, cassis, bitter chocolate, herb tones, soil and a judicious framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is medium-full, suave and silky, with a solid core of fruit, lovely focus and balance, modest tannins and fine length and grip on the poised and intensely flavored finish. Lovely juice. (Drink between 2016-2035)  (3/2009)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 With its prominent new wood, here is a wine that goes for spice, caramel and high toast flavors. It has great power, a wine that is currently all structure, leaving the fruit to gain in richness at a later stage. (RV)  (3/2009)

Jancis Robinson

 Tasted blind. Light nose. Well-married elements on the palate with some Léognan freshness. Lightly minty and very please-all. Smith?? 17/20  (4/2016)

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Price: $89.99
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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 M├ędoc 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.