Château Smith-Haute-Lafitte dedicate 11 hectares of their vineyards in Graves to white wine production. In 1990, Olympic ski champions Daniel and Florence Cathiard purchased the Château and revolutionised its production, reducing the amount of intervention in the winemaking and planting two extra white grape varieties, which has greatly increased the desirability and complexity of the label’s blanc. Sauvignon Blanc dominates in the vineyard, with small parcels of Sauvignon Gris and Semillon.??
Grapes are whole berry fermented, and no skin contact or malolactic fermentation takes place. They are aged on lees for a year with stirring, then aged in 50% new oak.
Clear and vivid with sliced lemons and green apples on the nose. Flows through to a medium to full body, tangy acidity and a long and delicious finish. Give this super white at least two or three years to come together in the bottle.
96 points, jamessuckling.com (February 2017)
A real head-turner, the 2014 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is all about texture, silkiness and polish. All the elements come together in a gracious, supple wine that captures the personality of the year in its interplay of seamless, richly-layered fruit and explosive energy. Hints of pear, white stone fruits, jasmine and mint meld into a finish of incomparable finesse.
(93 - 96) points, Vinous (April 2015)
The 2014 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is nearly seamless, with striking textural depth and terrific overall balance. The typical Sauvignon aromatics are a bit buried by the intensity of the fruit. In 2014, the Blanc is a wine of richness and texture. Lemon confit, white flowers, chamomile and orchard fruit meld into the creamy, sensual finish. The blend is 90 % Sauvignon Blanc, 5 % Sémillon and 5 % Sauvignon Gris. Tasted two times.
94 points, Vinous (February 2017)
The Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2014 is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% each of Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris matured in 50% new oak. Curiously, it seems less expressive than the Le Petit Haut Lafitte and Les Haut de Smith at the moment. This is very taciturn in comparison but leaving it aside for 10-15 minutes it finally reveals chalk and oyster shell scents. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp acidity and sharp citric fruit, but it feels quite linear on the finish, does not really deliver the knock-out punch that other vintages deliver. Hopefully it will muster something more to say throughout the remainder of its barrel maturation.
(90 - 92)+ points, Wine Advocate (April 2015)
The 2014 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc is now more expressive than when I tasted it from barrel. It offers engaging scents of citrus fruit, Mirabelle and orange pith that gradually gathers intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, finely tuned citrus fruit married with Clementine and yellow plum, seguing into a spicy finish that lingers in the mouth. It is a delicious, complex Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc that should age well over the next 12-15 years.
93 points, Wine Advocate (April 2017)
The 2014 Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc has a lively, crisp bouquet with mineral-driven citrus fruit, fine chalk and flint-like scents, dare I say almost Chablis-cum-Bordeaux! The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, quite vibrant with good depth although the second half is missing the tension that I hope for, certainly what those splendid aromatics deserve. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.
93 points, Vinous (January 2016)
The 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is powerful and intense, but also incredibly young at this stage. There is notable density and persistence throughout, but just like the red Grand Vin, the aromatic dimension in the wine has not yet developed. The wine's length and overall density are both impressive. Here, too, the en primeur samples were less expressive than the wines were when I tasted the separate lots from barrel in January 2016. With a bit of air, the flavors start to brighten and bristle with pure energy. The blend is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris.
(92 - 95)+ points, Vinous (April 2016)
In 2015 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is rich, sumptuous and incredibly inviting, with no hard edges and fabulous balance. Even with all of its obvious intensity, the 2015 retains a good bit of freshness. Naturally, the 2015 leans toward the richer end of the spectrum in 2015, yet all of the signatures are very much in place. The aromatics aren't fully expressive. It will be interesting to see what time brings.
95 points, Vinous (February 2018)