Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc aging in 50% new oak, the 2018 Les Hauts de Smith Blanc displays pear drops, lemongrass, fresh pineapple and lime juice notes with touches of crushed stones, wet slate and mandarin peel. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with mouthwatering tropical fruit plus a pleasantly oily texture and a racy backbone, finishing with great length and vibrancy.
“2018 was quite a difficult year because of the wetness, wetness, wetness,” Smith Haut Lafitte’s winemaker Fabien Teitgen sighed. “We are organic growers, so we lost a bit to mildew. May to mid-June, it was very depressing. But the abrupt change in the weather was amazing. The very dry, sunny conditions gave fantastic evolution of the grapes. The berries were very fresh and fruity with thick skins."
"We are very focused on the sorting," Teitgen continued. "We pick by hand, do an initial sorting using a vibrating table and then finish the sorting by hand. There was more work to be done on sorting the Merlot. We used no stems this year. We had enough tannin in the skins this year, so we didn’t use the stems. Then, we had to take great care with the extraction. We just focused on extracting the round tannins, none of the harsh tannins. We had to stop fermentation as soon as we detected any bitterness.”
Average yields for the vintage were 21 hectoliters per hectare for the reds and 28 hectoliters per hectare for the whites. Tiny quantities, but the wines—and the grand vin in particular—are simply stunning.
This is a really tangy and dense white with sliced white peaches and pears. Medium to full body, lots of fruit and a long, pinkgrapefruit aftertaste.
I always love tasting this wine during En Primeur and just having a moment of pure pleasure, enjoy the crisp, pure fruit flavours. It's a very enjoyable wine, a little soft on the finish compared to other vintages, but with juicy fruit. It will be ready to go soon. 50% new oak.
Drinking Window 2019 - 2025