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Wine Review: Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Grand Cru Classe, 2008

chateau smith haut lafitteWINE REVIEW

Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac Leognan, Grand Cru Classe, 2008, Bordeaux, France

Florence and Daniel Cathiard, former members of the French Olympic ski team, purchased the property in 1991. Smith Haut Lafitte had always been one the better properties in the Pessac Leognan region, and following massive investments in the vineyards and winemaking the Cathiards have elevated the quality to rank amongst the finest wines of Bordeaux.

The 2008 vintage is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The average age of the vines is now 38 years old, and the roots plunge over 20 feet into the subsoil. Smith is one of the few chateaux to actually make their own barrels and the wine spends 18 months slowly ageing in cask, which adds extra depth and complexity.

Tasting Notes and Rating

This is a vintage that is approachable in its youth, showing characteristic blackcurrant, coffee and vanilla flavors. Robert Parker rated it 92 points.

Food and Wine Pairing

Perfect with red meat dishes and a selection of hard cheese.

James Cluer, MW owns and operates Fine Vintage. Since 1953 only 38 people have qualified to become Masters of Wine in North America. James is a professional wine judge, an author, educator, and consults to airlines, governments and wineries.