We always enjoy our visits to Haut Marbuzet. This leading Cru Bourgeois always produces charming, pretty wines which rather fly in the face of the modern trend for big, butch tasting wines. The 2009 is a delight. Wonderfully aromatic with notes of ripe plums, damsons, bitter-sweet cherries, Victoria plums and a hint of graphite minerality. The palate is awash with decadent loganberries and blueberries. This is beautifully crafted and gently extracted with wonderful concentration and super silky tannins. A wonderfully fresh and vivid Haut Marbuzet crafted from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
Hervé Dubosq purchased this estate in 1952 and it is now run by his son Henri and his sons Bruno and Hugues. The hamlet of Marbuzet is situated just north of the Pauillac border, next to the vineyards of Cos d’Estournel. Plantings in the 61 hectares under vine are 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. It is this high proportion of Merlot that gives Haut Marbuzet its silky, seductive character. The Dubosqs prefer to plough rather than use herbicides and destem all of the fruit prior to fermentation. It was once Cru Bourgeois Exceptionel before the classification was abolished, but the wines are frequently better than cru classes from elsewhere in the Medoc.
A part of St-Estèphe is separated from Pauillac's Lafite only by a stream.Though St-Estèphe contains some gravel, it is largely renowned for the high clay content of its soils compared with other vineyards on the left bank. These wetter cooler soils favour the Merlot, hence the relatively large proportion of plantings compared neighbouring communes, though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The cool soils means the grapes are later ripeing and tend to have high acidities, archetypal St Estèphe is a strong-willed, tannic structured wine to be laid down. The stars of St-Estèphe are Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Calon-Segur, whilst Haut Marbuzet and Lafon Rochet have been producing excellent value wines over the last few years.