2009, Pessac-Leognan, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
2009, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Druesort: Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon
Navn: 2009, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Domæne: Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Klassifikation: AOP Pessac-Leognan
SMITH HAUT LAFITTE RED 2009
Yield : 34 hectolitres per hectare (before selection of the the grand vin): Smith Haut Lafitte, les Hauts de
Smith, le Petit Haut Lafitte, and les Hauts de Maujan.
Grape varieties : 64% Cabernet Sauvignon / 30% Merlot / 5% Cabernet Franc / 1% Petit Verdot
The bunches were fermented whole in small oak vats at 28°C and extracted with manual pigeage
(punching down the cap).
Aged in barrel on the lees for 18 months (65% of the new barrels were made at the estate's own
cooperage), and only racked once. Duration of ageing adjusted to each wine.
Average age of the vines: 38 years
Tasting notes for 2009 SHL:
Robert Parker: 100
Wine Spectator: 95-98
Armin Diel: 95
Bettane & Desseauve: 18.5
The Revue du Vin de France: 17-18
Le Point: 17.5
Neal Martin: 94-96
2009: a superb and generous vintage
The temperatures in 2009 were close to those in 2005, and rainfall was similar to 2000 – two great
examples with regard to crucial ripening parameters! Summer was relatively dry with beautiful sunny days
and cool nights. Thanks to deep rooting and meticulous work in the vineyard to find the best possible
equilibrium between the soil and the vines, vine growth came to a halt on the 20th of July and a long,
fine ripening period began. With the help of satellite photos, we now have a map showing how each plot
ripens. This enables us to organise picking at peak maturity and to harvest grapes of uniform ripeness.
Assisted as well by two new technologies (optical sorting of the fruit and destemming by vibration), we
were able to obtain exactly the desired degree of extraction.
The harvest began on 25 September in plots of young Merlot vines and finished on 14 October with
Cabernet Franc. The excellent initial impressions we had from tasting the grapes were soon confirmed in
the fermentation vats. The new wine was deeply-coloured, almost black. It had great concentration with
powerful, complex, and elegant aromas of red and black fruit, spices, herbs, cedar, liquorice, clove, and
This complexity was also present on the palate, and the wine soon proved to be rich, powerful, balanced,
and refreshing. With time, power and concentration have become its hallmarks – but not at all at the expense of finesse. The tannin is incredibly rich and there is a beautiful, long aftertaste. The aromatic complexity on the nose carries over to the palate, which features superb red fruit and spicy flavours (clove, liquorice, and cinnamon) as well as subtle overtones of graphite, gunflint, and violet…
2009 red Smith Haut Lafitte displays a rare combination of power, richness, outstanding elegance, and delicate tannin.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate #199 Feb 2012
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!