TN: 2003 Smith Haut Lafitte

Popped and poured. I as concerned because I removed the foil to find a fair amount of white fuzz on the cork. But it wiped off cleanly and the cork seemed fine underneath it,

The nose was very expressive. Lots of different aromas bursting out of the glass. Unfortunately, depending on your take, barnyard was one of them. There is definitely some brett in this wine. I got a few hints of band-aid in it, but it mostly showed as barnyard.

The taste was very silar to the nose. It had vibrant fruit, tending towards dark red raspberry in particular. Darker fruit appeared with about 2 hours of air. There was also some earthiness and tobacco notes, which seem typical of . I had read that the whine had anise notes, buit I did not detect any of that. Perhaps that was underneath the barnyard flavors. It had good, although not lush, mouthfeel, with a nice finish.

Except for the brett flavors (which I don’t like), it was a nice wine that would be good now and for some years to come.

Bruce, I’ve had the '03 SHL three times since initially tasting it at the UDG and none have shown any signs of brett. Brett can grow and accelerate with some exposure to less than ideal conditions (mid 70’s) though. It sounds like your bottle was possibly exposed to some warm conditions…


That is possible, but I don’t know where it would have happened along the line. I got it from K&L and it was shipped in cool weather. Then it went right into my cellar.

As I am finishing my last glass, the tannins are coming to the fore and starting to hide the brett, but it is still noticeable. But to be clear, while I find it less than desirable, it is not to the level of many of the CdP’s that are known for it.

EDIT: I just checked the cellartracker notes on this wine and there are a number of comments about barnyard flavors. So, I am thinking that some decent portion of the bottles have a brett characteristic.

Thanks for the note. I’ve enjoyed this wine–quite a bit and consider it a good qpr. Haven’t noticed excessive brett but of course it might vary.


To be fair, and as I indicated above, I REALLY do not like brett flavors. So while I found them to be too strong, others might not. But my wife also noticed the barnyard and she is less sensitive to it than I am.