Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte fashion some superlative wines in what is largely the outer suburbs of Bordeaux in the Pessac-Léognan appellation. The 1996 vintage in the region has not been identified as particularly outstanding, but this wine proved to be just that, reminding that vintage assessments often yield to the will of high quality producers in the Bordeaux region (and frankly elsewhere too).
The 1996 vintage from Smith Haut Lafitte still has a good ruby colour and opens quite fresh, with pronounced aromatics of tobacco, twigs and an almost pinot noir like expression of cherries. The palate backs this up with long length, medium to full body, and tobacco and blackcurrants intermingling balancing grace with power. This is an outstanding quality wine that can be drunk over the next 10 years. Outstanding
Price: You might be able to find it sub $100
Vendors: Check http://www.langtons.com.au
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