Château Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Léognan
    Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

    Château Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Léognan,



    Château Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Léognan, 2018

    Justerini & Brooks Tasting note
    Château Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Léognan, 2018

    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.

    Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux
    Deep ruby colour. This has a ton of Carmes signature right from the first moment, expressive, beautiful cool climate character and expression. Nuanced sanlity, leaning into the savoury character of 2021 and rendering it vivid and precise, with violet and iris florals, chalky tannic grip, crushed red rose petals, pomegranate, mandarin, liqourice, blueberry. Natural yeast fermentation, 70% new oak, 10% amphoras. 45% whole bunches, which for Carmes is lower than it has been in recent years (2022 being an all time high at 70%). 3.6ph.
    Date Reviewed:
    Drinking Window:
    2027 - 2040
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent
    The 2021 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Merlot, aging in 70% new barriques, 20% new 18 hl foudres, and 10% amphoras. Deep garnet-purple colored, it shoots out of the glass with vivacious notes of kirsch, black cherry preserves, cassis, and blueberries, plus hints of candied violets, star anise, cinnamon toast, and Ceylon tea. Medium-bodied, the palate shimmers with intense red and black fruit sparks, framed by grainy, multi-layered tannins and fantastic tension, finishing long and mineral-laced. While the weight is ethereal, the intensity is mind-blowing and an amazing achievement in this vintage. The Cabernet Franc contribution makes this a triumph, as does the inspired use of stems. Batches with ripe stems are selected for whole-bunch fermentation and the rest are destemmed. 45% was selected for whole-bunch fermentation this year, 10% less than in 2020. if you can put aside your stylistic preconceptions of what Bordeaux is and embrace this bright, energetic style with amazing textural complexity (from oak, stem, and grape skin tannins), you will love this evocative, age-worthy beauty. pH 3.6.
    Date Reviewed:
    Drinking Window:
    2026 - 2050
    Neal Martin, Vinous
    The 2021 Les Carmes Haut-Brion was one of the best wines of the vintage when I tasted from barrel. This contains 49% whole-bunch (a slightly higher figure than Guillaume Pouthier gave me during en primeur). The barrel-aging has what Pouthier called a "white toasting", very light, so that you don't smell the oak (70% new). It has a complex bouquet, quite open with mainly red fruit, cedar and hints of pressed violet. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiseled, unobtrusive tannins that imbue this Pessac with a sense of symmetry. It possesses thrilling salinity and is a little granular in texture on the finish, completing perhaps the most impressive wine of this challenging season.
    Date Reviewed:
    Drinking Window:
    2027 - 2055


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    Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

    Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

    Château les carmes haut-brion was bought in 2010 by patrice pichet, with the aim of making this unique 10-hectare property a jewel in the heart of the city of bordeaux. It was necessary to provide Château les Carmes Haut-Brion with new equipment to receive and shape the future vintages in the best conditions, and therefore live up to the qualitative goals of this prestigious vineyard of Pessac Léognan.

    Patrick Pichet, who has headed up the first single-family real estate group in France (since its creation), is a great lover of wine as well as design and architecture. That’s why he naturally called on two outstanding names: the famous creator Philippe Starck and the architect Luc Arsène-Henry. They have been entrusted with the design and implementation of an architectural building which include a new vat house, a barrel cellar and reception rooms. The works, which started in January 2014, were completed for the 2015 harvest, so that this vintage can fully benefit from the new facilities. The main entrance of Château les Carmes Haut-Brion has then been redesigned in order to open the propriety on the city.

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