98 Points - The Wine Advocate
"The 2016 Smith-Haut-Lafitte is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that was picked between 29 September and 19 October at 35 hectoliters per hectare. It is being matured in 60% new oak for a total of 18 months. "We have never been so proud of our Cabernet Sauvignon," winemaker Fabien Tietgen told me. Now, this has a much subtler bouquet than recent vintages, you could argue, more intellectual than the 2015 Smith-Haut-Lafitte. First there are aromas of blackberry, briary and just a hint of iodine, then underneath that, marine-like aromas such as freshly shucked oyster shells, pressed flowers and a touch of brown spice. There is wonderful delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with plenty of tightly-wound black fruit, intermingling with smoke, black pepper, spice box and a touch of bay leaf. This is an extremely precise Smith-Haut-Lafitte, certainly a cerebral 2016 that might well be approachable young, yet will certainly age in consummate style. The château's own tasting note reads "What more could one possibly want from a wine?" The answer to that is: "Another bottle.""
98 Points - Wine Spectator
"Seductively fleshy and creamy in feel, with alluring dark plum and fig notes laced with singed bay, black tea and dark earth hints. The broad finish has the grip and cut for definition. A beautiful wine in the making."
98 Points - James Suckling
"Wow. This is incredibly rich and exotic. Full-bodied, so deep and long. It lasts for minutes. Perfectly polished tannins evidence how texturally focused and supple this is. Decadent and enticing. From organically grown grapes. Super quality of cabernet is on show here. We will see if 2016 is better than 2015."
98 Points - Wine Enthusiast
"With its dense structure, superb acidity and black currant fruits, this is a great wine from the estate owned by Daniel and Florence Cathiard. A majority old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon (with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) gives the wine the concentration it needs to mature slowly. This elegant wine will be ready to drink after 2032."
97 Points - Vinous/Antonio Galloni
"The 2016 Smith Haut Lafitte is fabulous. Subtle, nuanced and classy, it speaks to finesse more than power. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. Gracious and light on its feet, the 2016 possesses exceptional balance and class, with captivating freshness and energy that gives lift to the dark red/purplish-hued fruit. There is much to like here."
97 Points - Decanter
"This is gorgeous, extremely ripe, tight, fresh and rich. It has clear, deep tannins and a thrilling tension that slices right through the ripe, autumnal fruit and teases out the finish. There are true layers to the wine, with flavours of cassis, liquorice and charcoal, demonstrating a reserved power that keeps on delivering. The tannin count is at a full 100IPT, a touch higher than in 2010 but they just float along, offering the perfect resistance and interest in your mouth. Technical director Fabien Teitgen used 10% stems in the vinification for 2016, utilising organic winemaking methods. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet franc and 1% Petit Verdot, aged in 60% new oak barrels. 3.6pH."
98 Points - The Wine Advocate