Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, 2016 Update

I drove straight past the entrance to Château Malartic-Lagravière. I suspect this statement may seem familiar to subscribers who have read my Bordeaux 2015 primeurs report, who I suspect by now are quite used to me missing left-turns and right-turns, missing flights, missing meals and occasionally maybe even missing a rational sense of perspective. And now, after an afternoon at Château Bouscaut, who hosted visiting members of the press for the Pessac-Léognan tasting during the primeurs this year, I was also missing a wine. And I was on the hunt for it.

The Pessac-Léognan syndicat tasting was comprehensive, as you would expect. but naturally there were a few absentees. No Château Haut-Brion or Château La Mission Haut-Brion, for example; this is hardly surprising, as first growths don’t mix with their peers by-and-large, and not a problem. I had visited them earlier that morning. And there was no Château Haut-Bailly either; again, not a problem, as I had called in on Véronique Sanders immediately after leaving my tasting with Prince Robert and team at La Mission Haut-Brion. No, the more problematic absentee was Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte (pictured below). Having slurped and spat one last barrel sample at Château Bouscaut I decided I would hot-foot it over to the Pessac-Léognan trade tasting which I knew was ongoing at Château Malartic-Lagravière. All I had to do now, having successfully located the château despite my dead sat-nav, was find somewhere to turn around so I could return to the entrance.

Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte

Having executed a fairly smart handbrake turn directly in front of the château (alright, this might be a touch of poetic license – I may have simply done a three-point turn in an open gateway about half a mile down the road) I was soon parked up in a corner. As I strode towards the château I had a strange feeling of déjà vu – wasn’t I in this exact same predicament last year? Possibly, I concluded. I made a mental note to take account of this when drawing up my programme next time. After all, the 2016 primeurs are now only eleven months away.

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