The 2018 vintage at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, a Bordeaux producer in the Pessac-Leognan region south of the city, will be ``excellent'' in terms of quality, even after the vineyards were hit by the worst hailstorm in 28 years and mildew resulting from the exceptionally wet early season, according to an emailed statement from the estate.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Leognan. Photo: Guy Collins
Early assessment shows that ``the first white grape juices are well balanced with good acidity levels (3.2-3.25 pH) and lovely aromas of fresh, ripe fruit,'' according to Fabien Teitgen, managing director and technical director of the estate, in remarks in the email. Concerning the whites, ``I believe the 2018 vintage, with its richer texture, will be of a different style than the 2017 vintage.''
As for the reds, ``the juices of the estate's red wine grapes were a deep, dense, dark red hue,'' he wrote. ``Tastings during post-fermentation maceration revealed the wines to be powerful and tightly woven on a tannic structure that affirms itself without being too overpowering. As maceration continues, these highly structured wines should develop rich texture and density.''
``These wines will require patience on our part before we can wholly appreciate their scope,'' Teitgen said. ``One thing we know for sure, however, is that the 2018 vintage will be excellent!''