Petit Haut Lafitte (2nd wine of Smith Haut Lafittte) 2016

Graves, Second wine

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Le Petit Haut Lafitte has a lovely bouquet of brambly black fruit, cedar and touches of black olive that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied and tight on the entry, displaying succulent, ripe tannin and firm grip. There is a light earthiness to this Le Petit Haut Lafitte, and the Cabernet Sauvignon is very expressive on the tobacco-tinged finish. Excellent.

Score: 92

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2022-2038 01 January 2019

The 2016 Le Petit Haut Lafitte is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot matured in 20% new oak. It has a well-defined bouquet with mulberry, cranberry, pressed flowers and a touch of undergrowth; it is neatly defined though not powerful, but it does demonstrare commendable precision. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp and firm tannin, quite tensile and energetic (more so than the Les Hauts de Smith) with impressive structure and length on the almost Pauillac-like, graphite infused finish. Do not ignore this little gem from Château Smith Haut-Lafitte, because it always punches above its weight.

Score: 91 - 93

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2021-2038 28 April 2017

The 2016 Le Petit Haut Lafitte is a fabulous second wine from Smith Haut Lafitte. Inky blue/purplish berry fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice and cloves give the Petit Haut Lafitte its striking aromatic complexity. Deep, resonant and exquisitely layered, the 2016 is a real joy to taste. I would cellar it for another year or two. The 2016 has enough depth and pedigree to develop beautifully for the next 10-15 years.

Score: 94

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2021-2036 01 January 2019

Cabernet Sauvignon takes center stage in the 2016 Le Petit Haut Lafitte. Graphite, menthol, pine, lavender and crushed rocks give notable brightness and energy, while firm, slightly nervous tannins extend the finish nicely. Savory and delineated, the 2016 will benefit from a year or two of cellaring. Even today, though, it is absolutely gorgeous.

Score: 91 - 94

Antonio Galloni, 01 April 2017

Very dark and lustrous purple. What a lovely texture! Maybe not the densest fruit but reasonably fresh fruit. Delicate hand on the hand brake. Not too much. Just lovely juice. I wonder whether the move to organic is responsible for this delightful wine? Pure pleasure almost already.

Score: 17

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2020-2027 20 April 2017

Generous, with warm plum and blueberry notes, backed by a rounded, toasted finish. A light ganache hint emerges at the end. Flattering in feel.

Score: 89 - 92

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 01 April 2017