Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a total stunner. For the first time I can remember, Les Carmes Haut-Brion marries all of its elements so well that nothing stands out. In the past, the high percentage of Franc and/or the whole clusters were evident. The 2020 is the first modern vintage in which all the elements are so well balanced. Dark red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint, lavender, dried herbs and incense all build in a ravishing Pessac-Léognan that will take your breath away.
The 2020 is 40% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot, picked between September 14 to 26, which is early here. Whole cluster was 55%. Vinification took place over five weeks, using very gentle extraction, with no pumpovers or punchdowns. Aging was 80% new oak, 11% 18hL. Best after 2030
Exotic fruit aromas of blackberry, blueberry, peach and orange peel. It’s full-bodied with a vertical flow of layered, chewy tannins that are integrated and intense. Extremely polished and focused. Crushed stone to the fruit in the aftertaste. Some bark and forest flowers, too. Great potential. Barrel Sample: 97-98
Barrel Sample: 96-98
Barrel Sample: (95-97)+
Barrel Sample: 96
In 1584, he therefore donated a water-mill, surrounded by meadows and wines, to the Carmelites of Haut-Brion.
The Friars kept the name "Haut-Brion" for 200 years, before common usage gradually changed it into "Carmes Haut-Brion".
It was bought at the beginning of the last century by Léon Colin, a wine negociant in Bordeaux and a direct ancestor of the current owners, the Chantecaille-Furt family.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.