Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur | Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte
"These wines are truly breathtaking. Bravo!"
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate
Vintage 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Daniel and Florence Cathiard's tenure at the historic Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte. This glorious property is situated in Pessac-Léognan, and while it enjoys six centuries of history, Smith Haut Lafitte only raised to the apex of the category thanks to the hard work of this lovely couple, who decided to leave behind their professional achievements ( one in retail, the other as a professional skier ) to embark in the revival of this ancient castle on the gravelly soil of Pessac.
The Cathiards decided to veer towards a more artisanal approach to winemaking. Selling off the dreaded machinery used in the past for harvesting was their first step. Hand-picking was favoured; small baskets, inspired by Himalayan sherpas, were introduced so to preserve the prized grapes from oxidation; and finally, two tiers of manual sorting were implemented in order to select only the very best berries. Biodynamic principles now inspire the farming of the 140 micro-plots at Smith Haut Lafitte. Oenoview satellite imagery system is used to identify the perfect time for picking at highest maturity. The Cathiards did not stop at farming innovations. They have also created their own cooperage operation so to craft bespoken barrels suited to their own idea of Fine Wine. In short, this dynamic duo has brought us one of the most exciting set of Bordeaux wines, beloved by wine lovers, and treasured by wine collectors.
Today, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte opens their Primeurs with the release of their war horse - Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, this baby SHL is punching well above its weight. Upon pouring our sample, dollops of dark juice coated our glasses, spreading liquorice and sandalwood aromas all over our office. Were we tasting the Grand Vin, mislabelled by the Chateau? The answer is no, the Le Petit impresses for its concentration and refinement, surely attributed to the perfect picking time ( first week of September ) which delivered grapes of optional ripeness and refreshing acidity.
This is, in our humble opinion, one of the best Le Petit we ever tasted, and we strongly advise to snap up few cases and see it for yourself. While the Grand Vin is likely to be released separately later in the month, we believe this should not go unnoticed. The pedigree of the Grand Vin permeates this superb baby Smith Haut Lafitte, while being released at very alluring price of €129 per 6, making this one of the savviest buys of the campaign so far.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
FINE WINE TEAM
LE PETIT SMITH HAUT LAFITTE
€ 129 per 6 Bottles IB
€ 135 per 3x150cl Magnums
€ 121 per 1x300cl Double Magnum
€ 219 per 1x600 Imperial
Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot
93 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter
"This is laden with cassis and bilberry - Cabernet dominant, with clearly defined muscles. Juicy and elegant, I love this, it is less approachable now than the Petit Haut de Smith, but hugely enjoyable, and has the precision that is the mark of the good wines in this vintage. A touch of austerity on the finish. 30% new oak. Drinking Window 2025 - 2040"
91-93 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate
"Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, aging in 30% new barriques, the 2020 Le Petit Haut Lafitte has a deep garnet-purple color, rolling out of the glass with alluring scents of blackberry preserves, Black Forest cake and warm cassis, plus wafts of red roses and cinnamon toast with a hint of dried mint. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers plush tannins and soft acidity to support the generous, juicy black fruits, finishing on a lingering minty note. Drink 2025-2040"
93-94 Points, James Suckling
This is a tight, more tannic Petit with a medium to full body and linear, racy phenolics. Blackberries, blueberries and some pine needles and stones. 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% merlot.
This is an En Primeur offer with UK ETA by Summer 2023.
Limited quantities available, offered on allocation only.
Bonded Storage offered via Nexus (for UK and EU).
Payment due on invoice.