Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal (Futures Pre-sale) 2010
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
International Wine Cellar - "Medium-dark ruby. Fruity, bright aromas of red cherry, red berries and flowers, complicated by cedar and graphite. Then light and lively in the mouth, with strawberry, raspberry and smoky dark cherry flavors complicated by hints of white pepper and gunflint. The finish features a lingering floral note and chewy tannins that will need some time to resolve but seem polished enough to guarantee a bright future. This is an excellent, classically styled Haut-Bages Liberal, just a step below the first growths: I loved its balance, refined texture and sneaky concentration, though it might fail to impress those looking for a large quantity of creamy, soft fruit.
Barrel Sample: 91-94 Points "
James Suckling - "A balanced young wine, with smoky, blackberry and chewy aromas and flavors. Full and velvety, with a fresh finish.
Barrel Sample: 92-93 Points "
The Wine Advocate - "One of the best efforts from this estate since the 1982, this wine remains fairly priced. It exhibits ripe blue and black fruits, a dense plum/purple color, good acidity buttressing a remarkably rich, fleshy, sumptuous texture, and oodles of smoky black currant and blueberry fruit. Ripe, heady and rich, this wine will probably benefit from 2-5 years of cellaring despite its precociousness and keep for two decades."
Wine Enthusiast - "The wine from this chateau, whose vines touch those of Latour, is solid and dense, with a sense of severity that is often the hallmark of this fifth growth. It is dark and the fruits whisper in the distance."
Wine Spectator - "Dark in profile and rather stolid, with a beam of currant, plum and fig allied to a prominent iron shaft that clamps down on the charcoal-textured finish. Showing rather austerely today, but has the length and cut to develop in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2025."
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Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal Winery
A few explanations about this triple-barrel name: Haut Bages because the property is situated on the hills of Bages, a small hamlet between Pauillac and Saint Julien. Libéral is the name of the family who built up this wining property during the 18th century. Wine brokers from one generation to another, over the years they grouped good plots of deep gravel, the largest of which dominates the Gironde estuary.
This Chateau is almost up at the top! Just one small country lane separates the property and the highest point of the appellation. A lane which runs between Haut-Bages-Libéral and Pauillac's famous Chateau Latour.
When the Chateau came on the market in 1982, the great names of the Medoc region fought to buy it. The owners of Chasse Spleen were to become the proud owners. Their first vintage was a success, in no way hindered by the fact that 1982 was an exceptional year for Medoc wines. Since then, the quality of the work carried out by the wining team has not slackened and the wine they produce is becoming more and more popular with journalists and professionals of the wine world. View all Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal Wines
About PauillacView a map of Pauillac wineries (pouy-YACK)
Home to three premier cru (first growth) chateaux, Pauillac is a leader in quality Bordeaux. Chateaux Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild are situated within the Pauillac appellation. Sandwiched between St.-Estèphe and St.-Julien, Pauillac wines are big - known for their combination of elegance and power.
Notable FactsThe gravel-based soils of Pauillac are key in creating the structured wines produced there. Like most of Bordeaux's left bank, Cabernet Sauvignon is the leading grape. Some typical descriptions of wine from Pauillac include: concentrated, full-bodied, powerful, firm tannins, ability to mature. Not all of the Pauillac wines are top price collectibles that you can only find at auctions. There are great values in the lower level crus, like the fifth growth, Chateau Lynch-Bages, as well as great Cru Bourgeois such as Chateau Pibran. These wines are more affordable and often mature a bit sooner.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.