1996 Smith-Haut-Lafitte 750ml

France - Bordeaux - Graves | Cru Classe/ Red / Bordeaux Blend   |     Watch

WA 90   IWC 89(+?)   WS 88  
1996 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

The 1996 Smith-Haut-Lafitte is the quintessentially elegant Bordeaux. With a dark ruby/purple color, it displays a beautiful presentation of blackberry and cassis fruit nicely dosed with subtle new oak. On the attack, the wine is sweet and pure, with striking symmetry, and a compellingly balanced mid-palate and finish. Although not as big as some blockbusters from this vintage, it is extremely complex (both aromatically and flavor-wise), and impressive for its restraint, subtlety, and impeccable balance.

Drink Dates: 2003-2016
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 122

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International Wine Cellar | Rating: 89(+?)

Medium red. Warm aromas of redcurrant, hot gravel and tobacco. Supple and graceful in the mouth; not especially sweet but boasts rather penetrating flavor and firm framing acidity. Not quite as suave as this estate '95; finishes with slightly tough tannins.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 84

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Wine Spectator | Rating: 88

Subtle and fruity with blackberry, floral and cedar undertones. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a cedar, mushroom, light coffee and fruit aftertaste.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. 8,000 cases made.

Drink Dates: 2007+
Author: James Suckling


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Average rating: 88, based on 3 reviews
More Vintages and Sizes of Smith-Haut-Lafitte:

Collector Data For This Wine

571 bottles owned by 176 collectors.

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About This Producer


Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte is located in the Pessac-Leognan appellation and is classified as a Graves Classified Growth. The chateau produces about 16,000 cases per year, which includes both their red and white versions and their second label, Les Hauts de Smith. The average 30-year-old vines represent red varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc; and whites Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, and Semillon. The vineyards are situated on gravel, which gives its vines two great advantages: superb natural drainage, and pebbles that reflect the sun's rays, helping to ripen the fruit. The red wine is concentrated and powerful, with a bouquet of ripe red berry fruit. It may also have overtones of licorice, violet, and flint. The white wine is characterized by citrus, apple, peach and brioche with strong acidity. It is very long and clean on the palate.

See all Bordeaux producers

See other similar producers: Chateau d'Armailhac, Chateau Pichon Baron, Chateau Calon Segur

Wine Varietal: Bordeaux Blend


Six varieties are permitted to be used in a red Bordeaux blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and, less frequently, Carmenere. Each lends a specific characteristic to the finished blends, most of which are dominated by large percentages of either Cabernet Sauvignon, which brings aromatics and age-ability, or Merlot, which adds softness and body. In the Bordeaux region, Cabernet blends are found on the Left Bank and Merlot on the Right.

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