Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion (Futures Pre-sale) 2012
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Wine Style Guide
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
Alcohol By Volume: 14.1%
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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%.
Blend: 44% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon
"Juicy and direct, with solid plum, raspberry and bitter cherry notes pushed by woodspice, singed alder and charcoal. Nice range, and with a pleasantly chewy, grippy feel.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points"
"This shows amazing fruit with blackberries and licorice character. Smoky too. Full body, with wonderful fruit and tannins. Goes on for a very, very long time. 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
"The 2012 seems to be a move in that direction. A blend of 44% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, it tips the scales at 14.1% alcohol. Only 53% of the crop made it into the grand vin as they have introduced a second wine called Les Clos des Carmes. The medium-bodied, fragrant 2012 Les Carmes Haut Brion offers lots of unsmoked cigar tobacco, red and black currant, scorched earth and toasty notes. This wine, which is now being looked after by Guillaume Pouthier, whom I met when working with Michel Chapoutier in Tain l'Hermitage, has considerable talent, so readers take note. This 2012 possesses impressive purity and density along with its tell-tale elegance and finesse. It should drink well for 10-15 years.
Barrel Sample: 89-91 Points"
The Wine Advocate
"Saturated ruby with purple highlights. Dark plum, blackberry, ink and minerals on the knockout nose. Silky and deep for 2012, but with no shortage of underlying structure. Quite full and complex, with sneaky concentration and building sweetness to the mineral, dark berry and floral flavors. Finishes with superb persistence, very fine tannins and a delicate herbal nuance. This is impressively silky for the year, and one of the best Les Carmes in memory, although I would have preferred just a little less alcohol. Les Carmes was purchased in December 2010 by Patrice Pichet, one of France's leading real estate developers, based in Bordeaux. At the time, the purchase price of 3.8 million Euros per hectare (18 million for the total property) set a new record for vineyard land in Bordeaux. Pichet is surrounded by talent: the régisseur is Guillaume Pouthier, recruited from Chapoutier, while Stéphane Derenoncourt and Simon Blanchard consult. Incidentally, the estate's second wine, Le Clos des Carmes, from younger vines on argilo-calcaire soils (as opposed to the graves of Les Carmes Haut-Brion), is also sweet and successful in 2012, and is one of the few second wines from this vintage that really deserves consumer attention.
Barrel Sample: 89-91 Points"
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Learn About Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion Map It
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.
Learn About Pessac-Leognan
(PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn) One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Leognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Medoc classification - Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia. Notable Facts The...
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Learn About Bordeaux Red Blends
Bordeaux Blends The Fab Five With so much history under its belt, it's no wonder that Bordeaux has figured out the recipe to produce amazing wines. Centuries of making (and drinking) wine led to the blend that has become synonomous with Bordeaux. Winemakers in the New World replicate this formula to create successful blends in their respective regions - you may see Bordeaux blends...
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