Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte   Smith Haut Lafitte

2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte

By Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte

2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte from Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

The noble climes of Pessac-Leognan have, in the year 2018, bestowed upon us a vintage that exudes both grace and fortitude. The 2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte from Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte displays a remarkable juxtaposition of intensity and elegance—a testament to the masterful cultivation and vinification synonymous with this eminent estate.


Refinement in a Bottle: The Investment Merits of Bordeaux Vintage

Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte, known for its investment-worthy vintages, has once again delivered an expression that is poised to captivate connoisseurs and investors alike. The 2018 vintage emanates from a year marked by climatic generosity, offering winemakers the canvas to craft profoundly structured wines without compromising the nuanced subtlety of terroir-driven finesse.


An Epochal Year for Bordeaux

The year 2018 was stamped by an alchemical combination of warm but well-hydrated soils—indeed almost too generous at times—requiring precise timing in harvest to capture the quintessence of Pessac-Leognan's gravelly earth. The 2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte articulates this balance with aplomb. On the palate, one discerns layers of dark cherries and cassis, adorned with an elegant array of spices and subtle undertones of earthiness. Tannins show their presence with confident assertiveness yet remain exquisitely polished, assuring splendid ageing potential.

On the nose, the wine entices with an orchestration of black fruit bouquets intermingled with floral hints and a dash of graphite—an olfactory echo of its mineral-rich provenance. The finish lingers persistently, carrying with it the promise that time will unveil even deeper dimensions of complexity.

The investment potential of this vintage is underpinned by its distinctive character. The 2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte emerges not only as a paragon within its own lineage but as a beacon of the exceptional prowess encapsulated in Bordeaux's 2018 offerings.

In sum, the 2018 Smith-Haut-Lafitte shines as an exemplar amidst its peers, capturing a momentous year where nature's largesse allowed Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte’s enduring philosophy of precise yet passionate winemaking to converge into a creation that is as investable as it is enjoyable—a true collector's piece destined for storied evolution within the cellars of those fortunate enough to secure it.

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Scores and tasting notes


This is incredibly complex with hazelnut, currant, berry and dried-flower character. The impression of a vat of fermenting cabernet. Full body, round and juicy tannins and a long, soft and silky finish. Shows the essence of the fruit here. Fascinating. Layered and complex.

James Suckling - - April 2019


There is a luxurious, languorous feel right from the very first nose here, which continues step for step all the way through the palate. It's a highly impressive wine with an amazing texture - something that is starting to mark Smith Haut Lafitte out every year. Notes of dark chocolate, black cherry and liquorice stretch out through the rich palate, displaying tension and texture. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Harvested 18 September to 10 October. 60% new oak.

Jane Anson - Decanter - April 2019


Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte is a little shy to begin. With coaxing, it very slowly unfurls to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of violets, red roses, kirsch, black cherries and redcurrant jelly, before giving way to a profound core of warm blackcurrants, blackberry preserves, molten licorice and cinnamon stick with nuances of dried mint, orange blossoms (yes!) and cloves. Full-bodied, the fruit does veritable pirouettes on your palate, both elegant and powerful in its expression, coating the mouth with densely packed red and black fruits while revealing tons of mineral, floral and savory sparks, framed by exquisitely fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing very long.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 23rd April 2019


Ripe and lush, with delicious waves of plum, blackberry and black currant preserve flavors laced with subtle charcoal, tobacco and licorice notes. There's a long flow through the finish. Beautifully rendered, capturing the ripeness of the vintage in spades without being heady at all.—J.M.

James Molesworth - Wine Spectator - April 2019


The 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte is powerful, dense and also tightly wound. There is good depth to the red cherry and plum fruit, but the 2018 comes across as not fully put together. It will be interesting to see what élevage does, but today, the Grand Vin, while good, is not especially thrilling. The tannins need time to soften, and the wine just needs time to find its center. I found the 2018 very challenging to taste on two separate occasions.

Antonio Galloni - Vinous - April 2019

Vintage performance