Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2003
Château Smith Haut Lafitte is located in Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank of the Garonne River. During the 1959 Classification of the Graves it was rated as Grand Cru Classé for its red wine. Nowadays the estate is also considered to produce one of the foremost examples of white Bordeaux.
The 78 hectares (193 acres) of organic vineyard (and the château) sit on a low hill of stones and pebbles deposited by the Garonne River. This gravelly soil offers not only superb drainage, but also reflects sunshine to amplify its benefits to the vines and fruit.
The vineyard is farmed organically and produces its own compost. A horse is used to plow the more fragile soils of the white wine vineyard. Biodiversity efforts include the siting of beehives around the estate. Smith Haut Lafitte has its own vine nursery, situated on Ile de Lalande in the middle of the Garonne.
"A beauty of cassis, plum, tobacco leaf and spice, this dark plum/purple-hued, medium to full-bodied 2003 reveals sweet, round, cassis flavors. It has reached full maturity, but shows no signs of decline, and should continue to hold at this plateau for another decade. Although the 2003 is not up to the perfect levels of the 2009 and 2010, it is unquestionably a noteworthy success in a vintage that did not favor Pessac-Leognan."
- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, tasted in August 2014.