Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Florence Cathiard & Ludovic Fradin of Château Smith Haut Lafitte – Spotlight Interview

Château Smith Haut Lafitte from Pessac Leognan has undergone a remarkable transformation since the 1980’s, to become one of the Left Bank’s most celebrated estates.

Charles Kirkwood had an extraordinary conversation with owner Florence Cathiard and Commercial Director Ludovic Fradin about the history, present, and future of the Château, as well as discuss their legendary 2019 and 2016 vintages.

We’re also highlighting several vintages available by pre-arrival below shared directly from the Château’s stocks. It’s an enlightening and informative interview, and we’re excited to share it with you.

In 1990, Daniel and Florence Cathiard fell in love with Château Smith Haut Lafitte, which they acquired with the firm intention of perpetuating its tradition of excellence. “Our philosophy can be summed up in one sentence: to do everything possible to make each vintage of red and white wine worthy of our magnificent terroir.”

More at

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac Leognan

Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac Leognan 2019

Awarded #1 French wine of the year by James Suckling

Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac Leognan 2009

Rated 100 by Wine Advocate – “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!”

Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac Leognan 2010

Rated 98 by Wine Advocate – Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Smith Haut Lafitte delivers notes of baked plums, boysenberries and dried mulberries with an undercurrent of cigar box, new leather and bouquet garni. Full-bodied, the palate has firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the maturing fruit, finishing on a stewed tea note.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac Leognan 2015

Rated 99 by James Suckling – The currants and blackberries on the nose are very impressive with wet-earth and lavender undertones. Full body and super-integrated tannins that melt into the wine. The quality of the tannins is incredible with fantastic length and mouthfeel. So much concentration and balance at the same time. Such beauty. From biodynamic grapes. This is the greatest wine ever from here. Drink in 2022.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac Leognan 2016

Rated 98 by Decanter – A brilliant wine, one of the best ever at this property. Straight from the first nose you feel an added dimension and aromatic complexity to this bottle. The diversity of flavours tumbles out on the attack, from brambled autumnal fruits to tighter, fresher black cherry and cassis notes. The body is deeply coloured, full of life and pleasure, with rich, deep cassis and high but generous alcohol that’s not intrusive but showing through in the smooth texture. It was great En primeur and is even better today. 1% Petit Verdot finishes the blend. Drinking Window 2026 – 2042

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