Haut Marbuzet has excelled in 2010. The 2010 is just as exotic and hedonistic as the 2009, but this possibly possesses more structure and even more concentration. A wonderful, sexy bouquet of violets and summer pudding. The texture is pure velvet; sweet berry fruit cascades over the palate with notes of raspberry, decadent plums and griotte liqueur. This is the most sumptuous, polished example we can remember from this estate, possessing effortless charm, and suave, satiny fruit; a seamless, exquisite Haut Marbuzet.
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.