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Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion




Pessac Léognan

Grape Variety:

Cab Sauvignon Merlot

Château Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Léognan, 2018

Tasting Note:

This was our first visit to Les Carmes Haut Brion and what an education it was. Guillaume Pouthier emerged from his submarine whilst stroking his white Persian cat. Sorry that was our imagination running away… The team here may have a Philippe Starck designed winery complete with piranha infested moat, but they are not members of SPECTRE. In fact, they are very charming people making very interesting wines. These suburban vineyards comprised of Mindel gravels on clay and limestone are planted with 39% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. Guillaume described it as 'a vintage of conviction'. He had to make some bold choices. First they decided to decrease extractions to enhance aromatics, there was no pumping over or pigeage - he described it as a ‘passive extraction’. They continued with 50% whole bunch fermentations that reduces the alcohol content and adds a sapidity. The nose offers aromas of wild hedgerow fruit, kirsch and herbs. This is really quite juicy and plump with an abundance of creamy, sexy, dark fruits, lots of plums and sweetness on the palate, vibrant dark berries; there is plenty of lift and tension. There is a real persistence to the fruit as well as a salty precision to the tannins. Very good. Produced from 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot and aged in 75% new oak barrels, 16% foudres and 9% amphorae.

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