2nd Wine of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge
Made from a blend of wines from the Château Smith Haut Lafitte estate, Les Hauts de Smith red 2011 was produced and aged with the same care as the lots that went into the grand vin: the winemaking techniques were identical.
• Yield: 32 hl/ha, before selection of the 3 wines: Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Hauts de Smith and Le Petit Haut Lafitte.
• Grape varieties: 55 % Merlot 45% Cabernet Sauvignon
• Winemaking: After double sorting pre and post destemming in order to remove any undesirable matter (such as stem parts), the uncrushed grapes were fermented in vat. Extraction of tannins and colour was done by pigeage (punching down the cap) and/or pumping over. Maceration took place at 26-28°C and duration (between 4 and 6 weeks) varied from vat to vat as determined by regular tasting. The wine was then aged in barrel for 14 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 a first picking day of young vines on the 25th of September, the true harvest started in very good weather conditions on the 4th of October with the Merlots; the juices offered good balances and beautiful aromatic freshness. The weekend of the 6th and 7th of October, with no previous warning sign, a warm and humid depression, of tropical type, troubled our tranquility: mushroom started to be found in the property woods… and botrytis spots appeared.
Sure of the proper maturity of our grapes, we decided to take immediate measures to react to these weather conditions and called in 200 harvesters. The harvest pace doubled, allowing us to qualitatively pick the grapes before they could be affected. Our very selective harvest reception area (de-stemming through vibration, both optical and manual sorting) assured us the perfect quality of the grapes transferred to the vats: no botrytised grape could have passed through this draconian process… Under that sustained pace, harvest finished on the 17th of October with the Cabernet Francs.
Comments by Fabien Teitgen, Technical Director
Les Hauts de Smith Red 2012 present a dark bright ruby red color.
The nose is expressive with notes of red fruits (cherry, strawberry), of sweet spices, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla and beautiful flowery aromas that give this wine a complex and elegant profile.
The attack in mouth is delicate and unctuous with a beautiful tannin texture. The mouth is round, balanced, harmonious, well-defined, subtle, smooth and already very pleasant.
This wine offers length for a refreshing and aromatic finale. There we rediscover the same fresh and elegant aromas of red fruits, flowers, sweet spices, star anise, vanilla, caramel and flint stone. Les Hauts de Smith Red 2012 is a balanced, elegant, aromatic and complex wine that will please your palate from 2015 on and for at least the next 5 years.