Les Hauts de Smith white 2012 was created during the blending process of the Grand Vin Château Smith Haut Lafitte. The different lots of wines were treated with the same care as the lots that went into the Grand Vin. Therefore the winemaking techniques used were identical from the harvest to the vinification and ageing.
• Grape variety: 100 % Sauvignon blanc
• Yield: 31 hectolitres per hectare before selection of the 2 wines: Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Les Hauts de Smith.
• Harvest, vinification and ageing:
Grapes are hand-picked into small crates and pressed in a pneumatic winepress (to treat the fruit as gently as possible) with cold static settling and fermentation in French oak barrels (50% new oak). The wine is aged on its lees in barrels with bâtonnage (stirring of the lees) for 10 months.
2012: a vintage driven by reactivity
After a chaotic beginning of the vine cycle: early bud break and blockage in April (cold and wet); the vine found back a proper growing path with the beautiful weather conditions from May to September. However, the delay and heterogeneity undergone because of this difficult start of the vine cycle was to be felt all year long.
Once more, the reality of great terroirs, the efforts made in the quest for the balance between the plant and the soil, the vitality of the soils and the low yield reduced greatly theses gaps and induced a slow yet complete maturity of the grapes.
After some manual in-the-field sorting from the young vines (from the 4th to the 12th of September), the white harvest really started on the 13th of September. The decrease in temperatures and some rain episodes were necessary at the end of the maturation. This date is a crucial point in this white harvest. From this day on, we witnessed plots evolving very fast, going from a stage of clear undermaturity to a stage of proper beautiful ripeness, with crisps and aromatic berries in 48 and even 24 hours times. Therefore we had to show great reactivity to pick at the right time.
Comments by Fabien Teitgen, Technical Director
Les Hauts de Smith Blanc 2012 displays a clear bright yellow pale colour with light green hue.
The first nose is very open with notes of yellow and white fruits (white peach, apricot and mango), notes of broom flowers, acacia and sweet hints of vanilla.
On the palate, the attack is vibrant and the wine embraces entirely the mouth developing its concentration and richness. The acidity underlines the palate and offers a good tension and refreshing finale. The wine presents a subtle balance of acidity and richness, signature of the vintage. The good maturity of the grapes reveals an intense aroma palette of yellow fruits, peach, mango, spices and stone flint.
Les Haut de Smith white 2012 is clearly a beautiful wine… to be enjoyed from 2014 on, on a meal or as an aperitif.