2023 Jeb Dunnuck TOP 100 #6
This has incredible power and drive with blackberry, black olive and graphite. It’s full-bodied, yet dynamic and agile, with so much polished and muscular tannin. Yet, it remains in harmony and balance. So much character. The head of the chateau calls it diabolical beauty. 25% less production than the 2019. 52% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.
Absolutely pure gold and reminding me of the 2009 (or is it the 2010?), the 2020 Château Smith Haut Lafitte sports a dense purple hue to go with incredible aromatics of blackberries, blueberries, scorched earth, wood smoke, and acacia flowers. One of the most concentrated, rich, and sexy wines in the vintage, this massive and extraordinarily opulent 2020 shows the vintage's pure, elegant profile yet backs it up with sensational levels of fruit and texture. Based on 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it already offers pleasure given its wealth of fruit, but it deserves 7-8 years of bottle age and will evolve for 40-50 years. Not enough can be said about the quality of these wines. Bravo to Florence and Daniel Cathiard, as well as to director Fabien Teitgen, for another incredible achievement.
A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Haut-Bailly was harvested from the 9th to 25th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.3%. Deep purple-black in color, it prances out of the glass with naturally beautiful notions of fresh black cherries, violets, mulberries and boysenberries, giving way to hints of redcurrant jelly, star anise, tilled soil and menthol. The medium to full-bodied palate is delicately crafted with velvety/grainy tannins and fantastic freshness framing the perfumed red and black berry layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note.
The 2020 Haut-Bailly has developed into an elegant, richly-textured wine with all its elements in balance. Classy and polished to the core, the 2020 is a Haut-Bailly that favors finesse over power. It's a wine of extreme precision and persistence more than anything else. Red-toned fruit, dried flowers, spice and blood orange are some of the many notes that open over time. The 2020 spent 15 months in barrel, with 50% new oak.