Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal (Futures Pre-sale) 2011
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Wine Spectator - "Lively, with good lift and floral aromatics followed by a fresh mix of red cherry, black cherry, red currant and black currant. Nice tarry edge creeps in on the finish.
Barrel Sample: 89-92 Points"
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a brooding, dark wine; its tannins are evident, with a complex series of dark, dense flavors. Its fruit is buried under all of its tannic scaffolding.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque purple. Spicy, deeply aromatic nose offers cassis, underbrush, smoked beef and bay leaf. Rich, dense and suave, with coffee liqueur and vibrant chocolate-covered blackberry flavors that carry impressively through a mineral-driven finish. Plenty of lively acidity and smooth tannins suggest a long life ahead. One of the better young Haut Bages Liberals of the last ten years.
Barrel Sample: 88-91 Points"
James Suckling - "Pretty core of fruit and ripe tannins follow through a medium body with polished tannins and a minerally, fruity and delicate finish.
Barrel Sample: 89-90 Points"
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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
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.