A.O.C. Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France
Smith Haut Lafitte has gone from nigh on the bottom of the class to the very top in a matter of a decade. It offers scintillating quality and fantastic value-for-money from a left bank château, and its wines (and owners) are some of the most charming in all Bordeaux.
Smith Haut Lafitte is owned by the amiable ex-Olympic skier Daniel Cathiard and his wife Florence, who have transformed the property and the quality of the wines beyond recognition since 1990. Their incredibly congenial (yet underling competitive) attitude is reflected in their whole ethos and their wines.
Smith-Haut-Lafitte is not classified as organic, but its practices are very much in the natural vein – they even make their own organic compost.