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Chateau Carbonnieux 2015

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
The firm tannins in this wine are dense and concentrated, ripe rather than dry. The fruit and juicy acidity give the wine richness and crispness at the same time. It has a great future. Drink from 2025.
JS 93
James Suckling
The dark berry and iodine aromas are fascinating with bark and black tea undertones. Medium to full body, juicy fruit and a savory finish. Hints of tobacco and chocolate. A long time favorite. Drink in 2020.
D 93
Decanter
Attractive dark red fruits, subtle liquorice and gently insisting tannins. One that will deliver pleasure earlier than some. There’s a silky approachability, but it should also develop well.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Carbonnieux is very earthy with fallen leaves, mossy bark and damp soil notions with a core of red currants and black raspberries plus a waft of wild thyme. The medium-bodied palate is firm, grainy and fresh with delicate red fruits and an earthy finish.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Offers cassis, raspberry and cherry paste flavors, showing flashes of mulling spice, sweet tobacco and warm earth. Suave and accessible. Best from 2019 through 2027.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Château Carbonnieux is made from 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in 30% new barrels. Classic notes of black cherries, ground herbs, licorice, and hints of earth all emerge from this medium-bodied, concentrated, structured Pessac that has ripe tannin and a good finish. It's backward and tight, and needs 4-5 years of bottle age but should last for two decades.
Rating: 92+
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Chateau Carbonnieux

Chateau Carbonnieux

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Chateau Carbonnieux, France
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The history of Carbonnieux goes back a very long way, and records show that wine was made there at least as early as the 12th century. Benedictine monks from Sainte-Croix abbey in Bordeaux replanted and renovated the estate in the 18th century. They took advantage of the exceptionally pale, clear color of the white wine to label it as "Carbonnieux mineral water", which they then proceeded to ship to the sultan of Turkey.

Marc Perrin acquired and restored the chateau in 1956. His son, Antony, currently manages the estate. The gravelly soil at Carbonnieux is perfectly drained thanks to the Eau Blanche stream that carries away any excess water. The 85 hectares of vines are evenly divided between red and white wine varieties. The white wine is fermented and aged in barrel for 10 months. The red wine is aged for 15 to 18 months in barrel, depending on the quality and characteristics of the vintage.

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Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

CVY4098B5_2015 Item# 159083