JS99: Intense blackberry and graphite character coming out of the glass, together with dried violets, ink and some asphalt. Full-bodied with wonderfully integrated tannins that spread across the palate and then draw you deep into the wine. Lead-pencil and blackcurrant aftertaste. Tightly wound with a cashmere-like texture. A whole and thought-provoking wine. Try after 2028 and beyond.
JD98: Reminding me a little of the 2009, the 2019 Château Smith Haut Lafitte has a rich, powerful style in its cassis, blueberry, and black raspberry fruit as well as its chalky minerality, smoked earth, tobacco, and lead pencil shaving-like aromas and flavors. A blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, this rich, unctuously textured beauty has terrific concentration, sweet tannins, and the vintage's hallmark elegance and finesse. One of the most concentrated, powerful wines in the vintage, it needs 4-5 years of bottle age (or a healthy decant) and will evolve for 30+ years if stored properly. Not enough can be said about what proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, as well as winemaker Fabien Teitgen, continue to achieve at this estate.