If there is one Bordeaux estate that has marked itself out as a true trailblazer over the last three decades, it is surely Château Smith Haut Lafitte.
In challenging the status quo, the Pessac-Léognan classed growth has gained both a huge following and critical acclaim – so much so that it was the only property chosen to feature on King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s Bordeaux itinerary this week.
The estate was taken over in 1990 by Daniel and Florence Cathiard, who met as teenage sweethearts on the French national ski team and went on to run a chain of sports shops from their home town of Grenoble. It’s fair to say that they had to work hard to convince Bordeaux purists of their vinous credentials, but they have since proven themselves not just as exacting owners but also dynamic pioneers in several facets of Bordeaux viticulture.
Among the first classed growths to convert to organic farming, their commitment to sustainability through its harnessing of geothermal and solar energy is mirrored in the establishment of the château’s own cooperage and vine nursery, while Smith Haut Lafitte also plays host to arguably Bordeaux’s finest example of oenotourism. Most significant, however, has been the transformation in the quality of the property’s wines, with both its red and white cuvées showing increased sophistication and consistency to cement their place among the most coveted of Pessac wines.
We are delighted to welcome co-owner Daniel Cathiard, together with his grandson Paul Thomas Cathiard, for a masterclass at the Club. We are particularly thrilled that Daniel will be bringing with him several stellar vintages – 1990, 2010, 2015 and 2016 – as well as two examples of its already vaunted California wines from its Napa Valley estate, Cathiard Vineyard, which they took over in 2020.
Early booking is recommended for this standout event.
The wines we will be tasting:
2019 Petit Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc
2007 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc
2017 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc
2020 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc
2016 Petit Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge
1990 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge in Magnum
2010 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge
2015 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge
2020 Cathiard Vineyard, Napa Valley
2020 Fouding Brothers, Napa Valley
Wednesday 11th October
St. James’s Room
18:30 – Glass on arrival
19:00 – Masterclass begins
20:30 – Masterclass ends
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