The opaque bluish-purple 2012 Smith Haut Lafite offers up notes of licorice, graphite, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, stunningly ripe, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is another sensational effort from the Cathiards that is perfectly balanced, complex, super-rich and pure. Drink it over the next 20-25 years. RP/95
Layered fig, boysenberry and blackberry pâte de fruit notes are buttressed by ample, yet polished and integrated, ganache-coated tannins, while accents of black tea, ganache and tar course underneath. A really gorgeous display of fruit, showing terroir and cut on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2027. WS/94
This dark and dense wine is closed, with its tannins very dominant. It’s a solid, dark wine intense with juicy acidity, firm dry structure and a rich core. This is a magnificent wine for serious aging, with all the elements coming strongly into play. Drink from 2022. WE/94
A dark, sensual wine, the 2012 Smith Haut Lafitte boasts marvelous depth and textural richness. Dark red stone fruits, leather, smoke, tobacco, gravel and herbs are laced together in an expansive wine endowed with terrific purity. The tannins are going to need at least a few years to soften, but there is clearly quite a bit to look forward to. AG/95
Aromas of cream, cooked apples and pears follow through to a full body with toasted-oak, cream and vanilla character buttressed by plenty of fruit. So much peach and apricot character. This a bright and flamboyant wine for the vintage. One of the best dry whites. Drink or hold. JS/95
This is another great turn-around effort that dated from the acquisition of this once moribund estate in 1990, by Daniel and Florence Cathiard. They continue to do an exemplary job with both white and red.