Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
Limpid dark red color. The first nose is intense. Fine roasted notes of cedar and Mocha mingle with more subtle flavors of flowers. After airing, the floral notes are more intense and a delicate violet note appears. The attack marked by smoothness develops notes of liquorice and black fruit. The palate stretches on creamy tannins where the smoky notes are reminiscent of the signature of LHB terroir and the dominance of Cabernets. The fair and straight finish suggests a good ageing potential.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 93-96
Barrel Sample: 91-93
This has quite a rich core of ripe dark-plum aromas and flavors. The dense, supple tannins are nicely cut. Drink or hold.
Ripe and focused, featuring a beam of cassis, plum and blackberry paste flavors, infused with black tea notes and framed by licorice root and apple wood accents. The grippy finish lets in a sweet tobacco hint. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2035. 5,416 cases made.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Larrivet Haut-Brion leaps with kirsch, warm blueberries and black plums plus wafts of earth, herbs and cedar and a touch of tar. Medium-bodied, the palate is fine, fresh and delicately expressive, finishing long and savory.
Barrel Sample: 88-90
A team of enthusiastic professionals has done a wonderful job of giving Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion back its superb reputation, and the estate is once again universally recognised as one of the finest wines in the Pessac-Léognan appellation.
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.
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.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
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.