The 2008 Smith Haut Lafitte is a lovely wine for the vintage, still quite polished on the nose with scents of blackcurrant and raspberry coulis, a touch of melted tar and tobacco; youthful for its age and showing fine vigor. With aeration there is suddenly a strong scent of liquorice. The palate is soft and rounded on the entry however, there is great depth on the mid-palate with layers of slightly toasted black fruit laced with tobacco, black pepper and smoke. I just felt there is a little dryness creeping in towards the finish, nevertheless this is a fine Pessac-Léognan. (Tasted at the château and at BI Wine & Spirit’s annual vertical tasting.)
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2045
Robert Parker 92
One of the stars of the vintage, this elegant, smoky wine has hints of barbecue pit intermixed with sweet black currants and cherries. Dark purple and medium to full-bodied, its impressive finesse and wonderful purity make for a surprisingly forward style of Smith-Haut-Lafitte to drink over the next 15 or so years.
Anticipated maturity: 2011-2026
Dark garnet and attractively mellow on the nose with a suggestion of mint but none of underripeness. The tannins are there but are not insistent and there’s an attractive velvetiness of texture with some freshness too. Long. Very classic middle-ground (not too ripe and not too skinny) claret.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2030