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Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2010

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • WE95
  • JS95
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • D91
  • WE94
  • JS94
  • JS95
  • WE94
  • WS90
  • D90
  • JS93
  • WS90
  • RP92
  • WS92
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
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
RP 92
Robert Parker's 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.
WE 91
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.
WS 90
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

Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal

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Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Image of 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.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

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.

WBX6328206_2010 Item# 122445