Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion 2017
Among the classic elegance of Pessac-Léognan, the Carmes top wine has carved out its own niche. Unprecedented proportions of Cabernet Franc offer a silky power which is then supported by the intensity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Within this structure, Merlot develops rounded and refined fruitiness: balance is the order of the day, ensuring a style that is complex and delicious in equal measures.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Aromas of graphite and spiced wood here. The fruit is nicely ripe, in the redder end of the berry spectrum. The palate has good depth and weight. Quite fine, fresh tannins carry plenty of red-plum flavor. Drink or hold.
Offering an Haut-Brion-like level of purity and precision, the 2017 Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion (41% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon) sports a vivid purple color as well as perfumed notes of blueberries, blackberries, unsmoked tobacco, crushed violets, and spring flowers. It’s not a blockbuster in the mold of the 2015 or 2016 (or 2018), but it has medium to full body, a beautiful elegance and purity, notable minerality, and an exceptional finish. It opens up with time in the glass, and I was able to follow a bottle for 3 days without it ever showing a hint of oxidation. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 30 years or more. Guillaume Pouthier and consultant Stephane Derenoncourt have unquestionably raised the quality from this estate, and this 2017 ranks with the gems of Pessac as well as all of Bordeaux.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
A sanguine thread weaves around the core of steeped red and black currant fruit, with singed mesquite, iron and briar notes filling in along the way. The sanguine element leaves a mouthwatering echo at the end. A distinctive and alluring expression of the appellation. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2022 through 2036.
Composed of 41% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Les Carmes Haut-Brion was fermented using 40% whole clusters and aged for around 20 months in French oak barrels, 65% new. Medium to deep garnet-purple, it springs from the glass with fragrant notions of Black Forest cake, kirsch and black raspberries plus touches of cedar chest, red roses, black tea and dried mint. Medium bodied, the palate struts itself with great elegance and poise, featuring restrained, mineral-sparked red and black fruits with a firm, grainy texture and bold freshness, finishing long and perfumed. Rating: 93+
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.