Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte "Les Hauts de Smith Blanc" 2018
100% Sauvignon Blanc. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte has a long history in Bordeaux dating back over 800 years. Today, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is owned and managed by Daniel Cathiard and Florence Cathiard. The Cathiards purchased the estate in 1990 while buying the property from the well-known Bordeaux negociant and importer to America, Louis Eschenauer. According to Daniel Cathiard, there were numerous estates in Bordeaux for sale at the time. But a big part of the reason they purchased Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte had to do with the fact that Smith Haut Lafitte is one of the few Bordeaux vineyards producing both red and white wines. Prior to the arrival of the Cathiard family, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte was not known for producing high-quality wine. It took a decade of hard work and serious investments before things began turning around here. The couple stopped mechanical harvesting, placed freshly picked grapes in small trays, and invested in the winery and building their own cooperage. Though most of the vineyard is red grapes there is a fair amount of white grapes planted. For the white Bordeaux wine of Smith Haut Lafitte, they have 11 hectares planted to 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. The white wine grapes are planted just behind the chateau and to the north. Here you find more clay and limestone in the soils and slightly cooler temperatures for the white wine grapes. Some of their older Sauvignon Blanc vines are close to 70 years of age and everything is organic with an eye towards biodynamics. Les Hauts de Smith Blanc is their second wine to the Grand Vin Blanc but is handled with just as much care as its older sibling. Same vineyard, just younger vines, and all Sauvignon Blanc. After a soft, gentle pressing and then fermentation, the wine is aged in French oak barrels (50% new) for 12 months before bottling. It is a superb wine. The second wines, red or white, from a great chateau in great vintages, like 2018, are often an amazing value when it comes to Bordeaux and it is no different here. Exquisitely well-made, this wine shows why Pessac-Léognan is so well-known for red and white wine and why Smith Haut Lafitte has become one of the leaders of the region.