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Château Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux - 2014

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This Pessac-Léognan estate has a refined reputation as ‘the quintessential Graves’. Its history stretches back over 800 years to the Crusades, with vines planted in 1365 on a gravelly plateau known as Lafitte. George Smith purchased the Graves estate in 1720, adding his name to the property.

Current owners are the Cathiard family, who instigated manual harvesting and sorting regimes where only the best grapes are utilised, introducing, too, their own cooperage from where they produce 70% of their own barrels. A well-judged combination of new and old, the winery is ultra-modern, while the vineyard is ploughed using horses.

"This is a finely fruity wine--all tangy acidity, crisp lemon and stone fruit. The wood aging shows in the notes of toast and burnt spice. It should all integrate well as it develops into a seriously ageworthy wine." (RV) (4/2015)

95-97 points Wine Enthusiast