Tasting Notes Smith-Haut-Lafitte 2017
This is a solid Smith for the vintage with blackberry and blackcurrant character. Full to medium body, firm and silky tannins and a lingering finish. Excellent potential here.
The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte is easily one of the highlights of the vintage. Dense, unctuous and impeccably balanced, the 2017 exudes depth from start to finish. Charcoal embers, graphite, menthol, licorice and sage add myriad shades of nuance to the plush, unctuous dark raspberry jam fruit. This is a super impressive showing from Smith Haut Lafitte. I tasted the 2017 two times. On both occasions, the wine showed tremendous aromatic and flavor depth.
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte opens slowly to reveal complex notes of crushed black cherries, black currants and wild blueberries with touches of lavender, pencil lead, cast iron pan and a waft of aniseed. Medium-bodied and elegant with great freshness and quiet intensity, it has firm, grainy tannins and a sustained yet ethereal mid-palate, with a long, energetic, mineral-laced finish.
The 2017 Smith Haut Lafitte was not affected by frost and is therefore a classic blend matured in 60% new oak. The bouquet demands a little encouragement from the glass this year, eventually opening with floral scents, more iris than violet, flanked by blackberry and bilberry. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin that comes across just a little chalky in style. This feels very cohesive and comes replete with a detailed and nuanced finish that might lack the flair and volume of the 2016, but it is certainly sustained and persistent. Give this four to five years in bottle and subject to optimal barrel maturation this may well land at the top of my banded score.
This has a good core of dark plum and blackberry fruit, with a twinge of licorice snap mixed in. A hint of bramble on the finish, with the vintage’s refined, fresh acidity as well.—J.M.
There was less than 15% of frost loss here. A blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Les Hauts de Smith is deep garnet-purple in color with expressive crème de cassis, plum preserves and blueberry pie scents plus touches of spice box, dusty earth and unsmoked cigars. Medium-bodied and giving up a lot of vibrant red and black fruits in the mouth, it has a soft, rounded-tannins backbone and refreshing lift to the finish.