Friday, June 25, 2010

2009 Bordeaux Futures - 2009 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge Pessac Leognan

Category: France
Size: 750 ml
Brand: Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Region: Bordeaux Pessac Leognan
Varietal: Bordeaux Blend
Red Wine
Price: $93.98
Reg: $120.00

Robert Parker 96-98+ Points

One can't say enough about what proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard have accomplished at this estate since 1990. Regrettably, I am old enough to remember how horrible the wines were before the Cathiards purchased the property. They have fashioned one of the most consistently outstanding wines, both white and red, over the last two decades, and their 2009 probably eclipses any previous performance. An opaque purple color is followed by an explosive nose of graphite, black currants, licorice, incense, and a hint of black tea. The wine hits the palate with extraordinary density, unctuosity, and richness, yet it never comes across as heavy or overbearing. Deep and full-bodied with sensational concentration as well as remarkable purity and precision, this brilliant wine possesses the high, but sweet tannins that are a hallmark of the vintage, and exceptional delicacy allied to massive power and richness ... a rare combination indeed. This prodigious effort should drink well for 30-40 years. Bravo! (Tasted five times.) Drink 2010-2050.

Wine Spectator 95-98 Points

Clean. Blackberry and lightly toasted oak with coffee and cedar. Full-bodied and a very, very powerful structure. Blockbuster. Massive and dense, yet remains agile. A triumph for this estate.

Neal Martin's Wine Journal 94-96 Points

Tasted at the chateau. Picked between 25th September and 17th October, 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot cropped at 32 hl/ha, this has a very sleek, well defined bouquet, very pure with dark berried fruits, just a hint of coca and dark chocolate powder. Very focused, very linear at the moment but developing a lovely saline/estuarine character towards the finish. The palate is full-bodied with very silky tannins, harmonious, sensuous, very good weight and acidity, layers of ripe black, coca-tinged fruit with a sense of nonchalance and self-assured swagger towards the finish. Very pure, very long on the finish, leaving the mouth tingling with pleasure. This is a very assured Smith Haut Lafitte. Tasted April 2010.

Jancis Robinson 16+/20 Points

Moderate and rather cool and intriguing on the nose. Some sweetness at first and then slightly inky. The tannins are far from the most supple but they just about do the trick without being too drying on the finish. Just a little bit gawky, and there's some alcohol on the finish. Date tasted 2nd April 2010. Drink 2016-2026.

Decanter 18/20 Points

Dense red, fine rich and wonderfully succulent and briary wild fruits nose, rich, robust vineyard fruit with internal spice, energy and depth. Drink 2016-30.

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