By Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte
1986 Smith-Haut-Lafitte from Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
The 1986 vintage of the regal Smith-Haut-Lafitte from Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte stands as a testament to the resilience and grace of the Pessac-Léognan terroir. As I delve into the depths of this wine, it unfolds a storied past captured in the bottle—a reflection of an era when Bordeaux embraced power and structure within its vinous creations.
An Alchemy of Climate and Craft
The year 1986 was marked by a capricious start with early warmth leading into a cooler period, ultimately lending to an extended growing season in Bordeaux. This fall into fortunate weather proved pivotal, laying the foundation for what would become a laudable vintage in Smith-Haut-Lafitte’s repertoire. Pessac-Léognan's gravelly soils sang in tandem with this rhythm of nature, articulating complexity and poise through the grapevines.
A Vivid Tapestry of Flavours
On pouring, the wine—still beautifully vested in colour—reflects an aged maroon with hints of garnet on the rim. The bouquet instantly recalls the earthiness of Bordeaux’s fertile ground, mingling seductively with traces of tobacco and truffle—a vivid kaleidoscope that hints at its noble maturity. On the palate, a symphony of blackcurrant and plum marries with mature tannic backbone and subtle oak nuances—a choreography that captivates as much as it comforts.
More than three decades in slumber have gently softened this 1986 vintage, yet it retains an enviable vibrancy that suggests a lingering affinity for time’s embrace. The wine demonstrates remarkable balance—an equilibrium of fruit, acid, and tannic structure—that can only serve to further pique investor interest in this notable chapter of Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte's illustrious chronicle.
A Wine Investment Worth Savoring
In conclusion, while capturing the essence of both its birthplace and birth year, this 1986 Smith-Haut-Lafitte is not merely a wine but a collector’s piece woven into liquid history. It speaks unceasingly to those who seek to unveil its layered complexity or entice fine wine investors to add gravitas to their collections. Aged like distinguished nobility, it continues to present ample reward for those entrusting in its evolution—a true gem from Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte.
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