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Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion

Les Carmes Haut Brion

Les Carmes Haut Brion

Vintage
Regular price $192.00 SGD
Regular price Sale price $192.00 SGD
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Includes GST

Grape Varietal: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

Country & Region: France | Bordeaux

Alcohol Level (%): 14

Bottle Size: 750ml

2014

Wine Advocate 91: The 2014 Les Carmes Haut Brion has a very ripe, fig-tinged bouquet with red cherries, orange sorbet and faint tarry scents. This has more bravado than many of its Pessac-Léognan peers. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin. It comes across as more modern in style than its peers, silky smooth with caressing succulent red cherry and blackberry fruit leading to a polished finish. It has very good body and density, though I find much more complexity on the 2015. I remarked that I wanted to see how well the oak integrates with this Les Carmes Haut-Brion and at this early stage, I wait to be totally convinced that all the constituent parts are singing from the same hymn sheet.

James Suckling 93: Extremely perfumed with violets, lavender and hot stones as well as fruit and dark chocolate. Medium-to full-bodied, firm and silky and fresh. A lovely and bright wine now.

2016

Wine Advocate 95+: The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 65% new and 35% one-year-old oak for 22 months. This vintage represents one of the largest percentages of Cabernet Franc for this wine. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it gives notes of kirsch, black raspberries and black plums with touches of cassis, violets, chocolate box and pencil shavings. The palate is medium-bodied, firm, grainy and lively with loads of layers and a long, well-poised finish.

James Suckling 97: Terrific ripeness, depth and complexity on offer here. This has a very attractive array of bright, ripe blueberries and cassis with some leafy and earthy notes. The palate has a quite deep, long and vibrant array of perfectly ripe dark plums and blueberries. So good. Best vintage this decade.

2019

Wine Advocate 96: The 2019 Les Carmes Haut-Brion has turned out very well in bottle. Mingling aromas of plums and cassis with notions of blood orange, warm spices and new oak, it's full-bodied, velvety and seamless, with an ample core of bright, succulent fruit that's framed by an elegantly muscular chassis of ripe, powdery tannins and lively acids. Concluding with a long, expansive finish, it's reminiscent of a more giving, extroverted version of Pouthier's superb 2016. As is now the rule at this address, some whole bunches were retained during maceration, and the wine saw a long élevage in a variety of vessels, from classic 225-liter Bordeaux barriques to foudres and amphorae. The blend is dominated by 42% Cabernet Franc, complemented by 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot.

James Suckling 97: What a great nose with such complexity of blackberry, forest floor, mushroom and bark. Like walking in a deep forest. Full-bodied with a dense palate, yet it remains energetic and focused. Very fine texture. Flavorful finish. Extremely persistent. Fantastic young 2019.

2020

Wine Advocate 97: The 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion has turned out beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of blackberries, red fruits, exotic spices, rose petals, raw cocoa and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and layered, it's intensely flavored but weightless, with a compelling sense of harmony and a long, orange-inflected finish. A blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot, it was vinified with some 65% whole bunch and attained 13.5% alcohol. This is the first vintage where Pouthier's methods (whole bunch with weighted cap and long élevage incorporating larger vessels) were applied writ large, and the results are striking.

James Suckling 98: Gorgeous aromas of crushed berries with orange peel. Fresh spices. Flowers. Salty. Full and so bright and vivid, with an elegance and beauty at the beginning and then it goes on and on. You see the intense fine tannins at the end. Dusty and bright. Unique wine. 55% whole cluster. 80% new wood, 10% amphora, and 10% foudra.

Vinous 100: The 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a total stunner. For the first time I can remember, Les Carmes Haut-Brion marries all of its elements so well that nothing stands out. In the past, the high percentage of Franc and/or the whole clusters were evident. The 2020 is the first modern vintage in which all the elements are so well balanced. Dark red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint, lavender, dried herbs and incense all build in a ravishing Pessac-Léognan that will take your breath away. The 2020 is 40% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot, picked between September 14 to 26, which is early here. Whole cluster was 55%. Vinification took place over five weeks, using very gentle extraction, with no pumpovers or punchdowns. Aging was 80% new oak, 11% 18hL foudres and 9% amphorae. In tasting, the 2020 is simply magnificent. There are no soloists, just the most exceptionally vivid, breathtaking orchestra imaginable. The 2020 is a masterpiece from Technical Director Guillaume Pouthier and his team. Don't miss it!

Decanter 100: The best 2020s seem to be confident without showing off or shouting too loudly and this Carmes does just that. Focused and precise, this is complex and characterful, rich yet vibrant with a texture and taste that makes an impact straight away. Fresh black fruits, floral notes and sensational minerality do the talking - it has weight, density and structure - broad and bold yet svelte, it has direction and persistence, building quickly then settling and elongating with such clarity and purity. This is a wine you want to drink. Cool, classic, sharp and decisive with a flawless texture. Whereas 2019 was more generous, this is more classic and easy to understand. An excellent job - seemingly effortless winemaking in 2020 - and a bottle that is sure to be emptied pretty quickly.

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