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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Chateau La Tour Carnet 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • D92
  • WS90
  • JS93
  • D90
  • RP90
  • WE93
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • TP91
  • WS90
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • JS92
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • JS90
  • RP91
  • RP91
  • CG90
  • WS90
  • WE94
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • CG90
  • WE91
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

The estate is characterized by soils composed of a highly chalky clay base covered with a thick layer of Gunzian gravel, making up the famous "butte de La Tour Carnet."

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This is another estate that has experienced a dramatic increase in quality since being acquired by Bernard Magrez. Moreover, since it is a large estate (180 acres), the wines tend to sell at a reasonable price ... good news for consumers. A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2003 offers both complexity and pleasure. Already sensual and evolved, it reveals soft, sexy notes of plums, figs, black currants, pain grille, and earth. Although full-bodied, opulent, pure, and rich, it appears to be on a fast evolutionary track, so consumption over the next decade is recommended.
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Chateau La Tour Carnet

Chateau La Tour Carnet

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Chateau La Tour Carnet, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
Video of winery
The origins of La Tour Carnet lie in the Middle Ages, although the exact details are lost in the mists of time. Initially named Chateau de Saint-Laurent, some parts of the building, specifically the round tower, date from the 11th Century. The fortress was inhabited as early as the 12th Century, by the English, and it constituted a valuable military asset when Bordeaux was under English rule. The seigneurie of St-Laurent at this time was held by the Foix family, who were closely allied to the English king. Nevertheless, the land eventually fell to French rule once again, to which the then incumbent Comte Jean de Foix refused to submit, a decision that would eventually cost him his life. He was defeated by le beau Dunois, a compatriot of Jeanne d'Arc, and the impressive castle was partly destroyed. Following these events the ruined property passed through the hands of a succession of owners, before coming to Thibault de Carmaing in the 16th Century and eventually to Charles de Leutken, a man of Swedish origin, two hundred years after that. It remained with his descendents, and at the time of the 1855 classification was under the direction of Angélique Raymond, the wife of Jean-Jacques Leutken, who extolled a vineyard which covered 52 hectares. The current owner is Bernard Magrez, who is the proprietor of a number of other Bordeaux estates, most notably Pape Clément in Pessac-Léognan and Fombrauge in Saint Émilion.

Haut Medoc

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While it claims the same basic landscape as the Medoc—only every so slightly elevated above river level—the Haut Medoc is home to all of the magnificent chateaux of the Left Bank of Bordeaux, creating no lack of beautiful sites to see.

These chateaux, residing over the classed-growth cru in the villages of Margaux, Moulis, Listrac, St-Julien, Pauillac and St. Estephe are within the Haut Medoc appellation. Though within the confines of these villages, any classed-growth chateaux will most certainly claim village or cru status on their wine labels.

Interestingly, some classed-growth cru of the Haut Medoc fall outside of these more famous villages and can certainly be a source of some of the best values in Bordeaux. Deep in color, and concentrated in ripe fruit and tannins, these wines (typically Cabernet Sauvignon-based) often prove the same aging potential of the village classed-growths. Among these, the highest ranked chateaux are Chateau La Lagune and Chateau Cantemerle.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

BNP9772030101_2003 Item# 111585