Wine Review: 2009 Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte Pessac-Léognan

Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte

As early as 1365, the Bosq family started growing grapes in the Pessac-Léognan region. In the 18th century, Scotsman George Smith purchased the property and renamed it to what it is now, Chateau Smith-Haut Lafitte. In 1842, Duffour-Dubergier, the mayor of Bordeaux,  inherited the estate from his mother and transformed it into a Grand Cru. Nearly a century later, the Eschenauer Company purchased the estate, later inviting Daniel Cathiard to become an owner in 1990.

The chateau’s philosophy is to “do our utmost so that every vintage of our red and white wines reflects the full potential of our magnificent terroir.” The 2009 vintage showcases this potential through the efforts that span from organic vineyard management and slow natural fermentation of the grapes, to horse drawn ploughs in the vineyards. The 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot blend reveals a spectacular textural experience of cassis, black raspberry, violet, blueberry and licorice; beautifully integrated tannins leads to a polished, earthy and alluring finish. It is simply a magnificent example of what this year brought regarding the ripeness of both fruit and tannin. Cellar it for a few more years and cherish it in 2030. Patience is a virtue!

Rating: Outstanding (97) | $110 | 13.8% ABV


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.


  1. Gerry June 13, 2012 at 4:19 PM - Reply

    This is truly a great vintage and superior Bordeaux. I might even challenge this wine might hold in the cellar through 2035.

    • enobytes June 17, 2012 at 6:06 PM - Reply

      I’m not going to argue on that point Gerry! Its a solid effort that will cellar well…

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