Willow Park Wines and Spirits

Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, 2016
Bordeaux Futures Pre-Sale - Pessac - Leognan- 97 Pts WA

Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, 2016
Wine Specs
Vintage
2016
Varietal
Bordeaux Red Blends
Appellation
Bordeaux
Alcohol %
13
Wine Spectator
96
Wine Advocate
97
Item Ships: Sep 30, 2019
2016 Bordeaux Future Pre-Sale - 97 Pts WA
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$131.99
/ 1 Bottle
SKU: 601618BF
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$791.94
/ Case of 6
 

The 2016 Les Carmes Haut Brion is a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot, with 13.8% alcohol and a pH of 3.55, the lowest acidity for many years. It was vinified in their Philippe Starck-designed "submarine" (this is what their aesthetically arresting winery looks like as it surfaces in the Bordeaux city suburbs!) with 48% whole berry fruit. Winemaker Guillaume Pouthier (ex-Chapoutier) showed me a large inflatable ring used to submerge the cap to create more of an "infusion" rather than a maceration. The 2016 is matured in 65% new oak, 30% one year old and 5% in amphora. It has a very pure, very attractive bouquet with ample blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry and fresh fig aromas, a little more extravagant than some other Pessac-Léognan 2016s, yet it maintains impressive control and focus. It develops more pressed flower aromas with time. The palate is medium-bodied with tannins that gently grip the mouth, tertiary notes on the entry, fine acidity vis-à-vis the fruit, then a slight tarriness towards the broody black fruit on the saline, marine-influenced finish. It is an intriguing take on the vintage, classic in style like many others, detailed with impressive complexity. You know, it is not a million miles away from Lafleur in Pomerol, but in the same sense, it will require a decade in bottle to show what it can do. It is a new benchmark for this estate with big ambitions. Tasted twice with consistent notes.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points Wine Advocate

Wine Specs
Vintage
2016
Varietal
Bordeaux Red Blends
Appellation
Bordeaux
Alcohol %
13
Wine Spectator
96
Wine Advocate
97
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
The 2016 Les Carmes Haut Brion is a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot, with 13.8% alcohol and a pH of 3.55, the lowest acidity for many years. It was vinified in their Philippe Starck-designed "submarine" (this is what their aesthetically arresting winery looks like as it surfaces in the Bordeaux city suburbs!) with 48% whole berry fruit. Winemaker Guillaume Pouthier (ex-Chapoutier) showed me a large inflatable ring used to submerge the cap to create more of an "infusion" rather than a maceration. The 2016 is matured in 65% new oak, 30% one year old and 5% in amphora. It has a very pure, very attractive bouquet with ample blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry and fresh fig aromas, a little more extravagant than some other Pessac-Léognan 2016s, yet it maintains impressive control and focus. It develops more pressed flower aromas with time. The palate is medium-bodied with tannins that gently grip the mouth, tertiary notes on the entry, fine acidity vis-à-vis the fruit, then a slight tarriness towards the broody black fruit on the saline, marine-influenced finish. It is an intriguing take on the vintage, classic in style like many others, detailed with impressive complexity. You know, it is not a million miles away from Lafleur in Pomerol, but in the same sense, it will require a decade in bottle to show what it can do. It is a new benchmark for this estate with big ambitions. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points Wine Advocate
Ratings
This has the grippy, licorice-accented edge typical of the AOC, along with sappy kirsch and cherry paste flavors. Good energy supplies lift and cut through the finish, putting this half a step ahead of the pack. Barrel Sample: 93-96 Points Wine Spectator
Awards
Slowly but surely, Carmes Haut-Brion is moving from being 'an estate to watch' to one that has fully arrived. This gives the appearance of effortless extraction, where the vibrant black fruits seem artfully placed along the palate, fleshed out with liquorice, dark chocolate, graphite and violet notes. This has the highest proportion of Cabernet Franc on the left bank, and it can be austere at en primeur, but in this vintage the fresh fruit reads as juiciness and persistency. I love it, what a stunning wine, and what a testament to the benefits of investing in terroir. Biodynamic farming also, although not certified. Tasted at the château and again with the UGCs. Technical director Guillaume Pouthier used a good amount of whole bunch pressing, over 20%, because he felt the stalks were ripe. 95 Points Decanter
Production Notes
Blend: 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Other Notes
Shortly before he shuffled off his mortal coil, at the age of 101, Jean de Pontac, Lord of the Manor of Haut-Brion, considered he had to earn his seat in heaven. In 1584, he therefore donated a water-mill, surrounded by meadows and wines, to the Carmelites of Haut-Brion. The Friars kept the name "Haut-Brion" for 200 years, before common usage gradually changed it into "Carmes Haut-Brion". It was bought at the beginning of the last century by Léon Colin, a wine negociant in Bordeaux and a direct ancestor of the current owners, the Chantecaille-Furt family.
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