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2009 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1112974 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The finest wine ever made by proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the 2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte exhibits an opaque blue/purple color in addition to a glorious nose of acacia flowers, licorice, charcoal, blueberries, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings and incense. This massive, extraordinarily rich, unctuously textured wine may be the most concentrated effort produced to date, although the 2000, 2005 and 2010 are nearly as prodigious. A gorgeous expression of Pessac-Leognan with sweet tannin, emerging charm and delicacy, and considerable power, depth, richness and authority, it should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. Bravo! (RP) Inner quote mark (2/2012)

96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Aromas of flowers, dried citrus fruit and blueberries follow through to a full body, with firm and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Gorgeous fruit and structure. Polished and powerful. Best red ever from Smith. Best in 2018. Inner quote mark (2/2012)

96 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This is really loaded, with crushed plum, blueberry, cassis, fig and blackberry paste flavors all melded together, along with notes of tar, pastis and violet. Very long and dark, but polished and pure, with terrific fruit offset by a great tug of earth on the finish. Should cruise easily in the cellar. (JM) Inner quote mark (5/2012)

95 points Decanter

Outer quote mark As with many 2009 clarets, this is much more flamboyant than its 2010 sibling and provides a completely different flavour profile. Here the fruit is more ripe cherry with spice, cocoa and mocha. Sumptuously rich and voluptuous, this low acid wine has fine, silky, fluid tannins. This has power and personality in abundance and is almost entering its drinking window. However, the best is still yet to come. (JS) Inner quote mark

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Good bright red-ruby. Enticing aromas of blueberry, flowers, graphite and charred, nutty oak, plus a sexy suggestion of floral white fruit. Like liquid silk on entry, then concentrated and lush in the middle, with red plum, tobacco and mineral flavors given definition by lovely harmonious acidity. Utterly seamless wine with suave tannins. Voluminous and intense but not a powerhouse. Finishing flavors mount slowly and stain the palate without leaving any impression of weight. Conveys a beautiful impression of site and vintage. The most complete young Smith Haut Laffite I've yet tasted at this early stage; perhaps my score will ultimately prove to be conservative. (ST) 94+ Inner quote mark (7/2012)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Very dense and firm, this has powerful tannins as well as a blackberry jam flavor. The wine is complex, full of both dark tannins and the richest fruits, layered with notes of herb, spice and a concentrated structure. (RV) Inner quote mark (9/2012)

93-94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2009 Smith Haut-Lafitte has a very perfumed, quite floral bouquet with violets permeating the black and red fruit, hints of game and leather developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. Touches of brown spice filter through the red fruit and towards a fleshy and lightly peppered finish. This is a classy Pessac-Léognan from the Cathiard's. (NM) Inner quote mark (3/2019)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Magnum. Blackish crimson. Mild scent in great balance. Sweet start with very opulent palate entry. Maybe just a little more worked than usual? Not super-concentrated but lots of fun with mild, ripe fruit and a lovely sweet undertow. The finish is not that rich or long but the whole is lots and lots of fun and flattery. Spicy edge. Very opulent without being heavy or sweet. (JR) 18/20 Inner quote mark (3/2015)

K&L Notes

Smith Haut Lafitte Grand Cru Classé is planted to 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot on the gravelly soils of Pessac-Leognon, in the Graves region. With a vineyard history going back to the 14th century, the property is now owned and run by Daniel and Florence Cathiard, who have lavished attention and brought it to a wonderful state--so good in fact that the Wine Advocate rewarded this wonderful vintage with a perfect score.

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Price: $299.99

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By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2012 | Send Email
A standout at both the château and the UGC. Exotic spice and very sweet red fruits. Fine-grained tannins.

By: Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2012 | Send Email
Ripe and earthy, sweet and natural.

By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2012 | Send Email
** Sweet aromas of toasty oak, coffee, chocolate, cedar and red fruits. Good length and mouthfeel. Sexy and silky. Its high alcohol is hidden by its tremendous fruit. At UGC: Earthy aromas and flavors. Great depth. Smooth on the palate.

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