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Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion 2009

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  • WS92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

2009 is universally acclaimed as one of Bordeaux’s most exceptional vintages! The weather conditions, and particularly theperfect summer and combination of warm, sunny days and cool nights during the harvest in September, were uniquely conducive tothe creation of a truly great wine. The result is an extraordinarily deft balance of alcohol, acidity and tannin, securing the2009 a place in the annals of Bordeaux’s greatest ever vintages.

Blend: 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Spicy wood here,with stewed pear and ginger, as well as fine berry fruits. The wine is solid, but elegant, with great ripe fruits.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
JS 93
James Suckling
Round and friendly, with soft and velvety tannins and delicious plum, spice and meaty aromas and flavors. Juicy finish. Subtle and rich. Better in 2016.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Beautiful, Burgundian-like aromas of burning embers, roasted Provencal herbs, black currants and sweet cherries and raspberries emerge from this medium-bodied, elegant 2009 Pessac-Leognan. Medium to full-bodied and seductive with sweet tannins as well as a surprisingly evolved, precocious personality (even for a 2009), it will offer delicious drinking over the next 15+ years. This is another wine in which I noticed subtle bottle variation.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Still youthfully tight, this shows a packed core of plum, cassis and blackberry fruit wrapped with bittersweet cocoa, tobacco and charcoal notes. Nice drive marks the finish, with gorgeous polish, as a mouthwatering linzer torte note expands as it opens in the glass. Drink now through 2020.
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Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion

Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion

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Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, France
Shortly before he shuffled off his mortal coil, at the age of 101, Jean de Pontac, Lord of the Manor of Haut-Brion, considered he had to earn his seat in heaven.

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.

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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.

CVY4222A9_2009 Item# 518489