Chateau Carbonnieux Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Complete Guide


Learn everything about Chateau Carbonnieux Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux with wine tasting notes, and wine with food pairings. Learn all the best vintages, the history of the property, information on the vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Carbonnieux History, Overview

Chateau Carbonnieux has a long and extensive history in the Bordeaux wine appellation. In fact, it’s one of the oldest estates in the entire Bordeaux wine region with a history dating back to the 12th century! The estate takes its name from the Carbonnieu family, who owned the property in 1234. In those days, the vineyard was used to produce wine for religious purposes.

The original chateau was first constructed during the years when the 100-year war was taking place. This is easily noticed when looking at the unique design that includes a myriad of historical features from the time period.

Chateau Carbonnieux The Modern Era

Jumping ahead to the modern age for Chateau Carbonnieux, after World War 2 ended, Chateau Carbonnieux was in poor condition. By that time, only 29 hectares of vines were remaining. The original chateau had been uninhabited since the First World War and was also in bad shape.

The cellars and wine-making equipment were in even worse condition. After the Perrin family, headed by Marc Perrin, purchased the property, they renovated the entire estate and replanted a large portion of the vineyard. The cellars were renovated in 1990. Today, Chateau Carbonnieux is managed by his two sons Eric Perrin and Philibert Perrin.

Chateau Carbonnieux has nice neighbors. In fact, they are situated close to Chateau Haut Bailly and Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte. The gravel-based, Pessac Leognan vineyard of Chateau Carbonnieux is planted to red and white grapes. Interestingly, Chateau Carbonnieux is one of the few Bordeaux vineyards that continue maintaining plantings of all 5 red Bordeaux wine varietals.

Chateau Carbonnieux Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The massive 170-hectare estate of Chateau Carbonnieux is perhaps the largest vineyard in Pessac Leognan with 92 hectares of vines. The vineyard of Chateau Carbonnieux is almost evenly split between plantings of the grapes for the production of red wine and grapes to make white wine.

You can easily divide the vineyard into 3 main sections. All 3 sections are well placed on one large gravel hill. The terroir is gravel, sand, limestone, and clay soils. The large vineyard can be further subdivided into 119 different parcels. There are gravel slopes with elevations that rise to 50 meters at their peak.

Even with all those separate parcels, the vineyard is basically split in two, with the red wine grapes on the gravels and the white wine grapes are in soils with more clay and limestone and a cooler micro-climate.

Chateau Carbonnieux has 47 hectares of vines for red wine grapes planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, .5% Petit Verdot, and .5% Carmenere. This makes Chateau Carbonnieux one of the few Bordeaux vineyards with plantings of all 6 allowable grape varieties.

The Carmenere grapes are a new addition to their vineyard. On average, the vines for the red wine grapes are 32 years of age. 43 hectares are reserved for the white wine grape varietals.

For the white Bordeaux wine of Chateau Carbonnieux, the vineyard is planted to 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 38% Semillon and 2% Muscadelle. On average the vines are 26 years of age. Chateau Carbonnieux is one of the few Bordeaux estates to produce close to equal amounts of red and white Bordeaux wine


In 2011, to allow the property to vinify on a parcel by parcel basis, Chateau Carbonnieux renovated and remodeled its cellars. They added new, temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats in a myriad of sizes ranging from 150 hectoliters to 200 hectoliters and all the way up to 250 hectoliters. This allows for a plot by plot vinification of their Pessac Leognan wine.

Chateau Carbonnieux Winemaking

To produce the red wine of Chateau Carbonnieux, vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tanks. The red wines of Chateau Carbonnieux are aged in an average of 33% new, French oak barrels for an average of 18 months.

To produce the white Bordeaux wine of Chateau Carbonnieux, vinification takes place in 35% new, French oak barrels. There is very limited skin contact. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. The wine is aged in the same barrels for an average of 10 months before bottling. It is more common for the Semillon to be fermented and aged in more new oak barrels.

The Best Vintages of Chateau Carbonnieux are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2005 and 2000. However, it is important to note that the best red wine vintages are often not the same as the white wines. For example, 2013, 2011, and 2007 were all difficult years for red wine. But all 3 of those vintages are sublime for Chateau Carbonnieux white wine.

The production here is large. On average, close to 18,000 cases of red wine and 18,000 cases of white wine are produced each vintage by Chateau Carbonnieux. There are two-second wines for both the red and white varieties, Tour Leognan and La Croix de Carbonnieux. Denis Dubourdieu was their consultant starting in 1988.

When to Drink Chateau Carbonnieux, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Carbonnieux can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 1-2 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Carbonnieux is usually better with at least 5-7 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Carbonnieux offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 9-17 years of age after the vintage.

Serving and Decanting Chateau Carbonnieux, with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Carbonnieux is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The red wine of Chateau Carbonnieux is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes.

Chateau Carbonnieux is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta as well as cheese.

The white wine of Chateau Carbonnieux is a perfect wine to serve with shellfish, sashimi, sushi, all types of seafood, chicken, veal, and cheese.

Château Carbonnieux Wine Tasting Notes

34 Vintages 148,042 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

Deeply colored, this is already showing off its vanilla bean, flowers, tobacco, cherry and currant character on the nose. Supple, soft and silky, with refined fruits that feel stellar on your palate, give this 4-5 years in the cellar and it is going to be even better. This should age for at least 2 decades. 91-93 Pts

1,299 Views   Tasted
2020 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Bright, fresh lemon, orange peel, flowers and honeysuckle come through on the nose. Creamy, sweet and fresh, with a tinge of honey along with crisp lemons on the backend, this will be easy to like on release. 91 Pts

1,327 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

A bit reticent on the nose at the moment, it took some effort to bring out the herbs, mint, tobacco leaf, cherries, and a touch of espresso on the nose. Medium-bodied, refined, soft, and silky, there is freshness and lift to the lush, fresh, spicy, pure red berries on the palate and in the finish. You can drink this young, but if you wait a few years, it is going to be even better. Drink from 2024-2037. 92 Points

386 Views   Tasted

Already soft and silky, and showing good freshness to the sweet red fruits. The wine is medium-bodied with nice length and a good persistency of flavor. You can drink this young or age it for more aromatic complexity. 90-92 Pts

2,850 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

Waxy lemon peel, orange tropical fruit, vanilla and honeysuckle come through on the nose and on the sweet, juicy, crisp, green apple-tinted palate. Drink from 2022-2027. 92 Points

910 Views   Tasted

Crisp yellow citrus combined with hints of sweet orange and mango on the nose and palate are a perfect match for all that racy acidity found here. 92 Pts

3,530 Views   Tasted
2019 La Croix de Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 85

Fresh, light, forward, easy-drinking citrus and white peach filled wine to enjoy while waiting for the Grand Vin to come around. 85 Pts

2,357 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

Campfire embers, cedar, tobacco leaf, spice and red pit fruits create the core of this medium-bodied, elegant, fresh wine. Soft and polished with a solid depth of flavor and a hint of oak in the elegant finish. The wine blends 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. 92 Points

2,389 Views   Tasted

It is easy to dig into the smoky black cherries wafting in the perfume but there is more than aromatics going on here. This medium-bodied affair has a plush palate, supple textures and a long, round, polished, elegant finish. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. 91-93 Pts

4,119 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Lemon, lime and floral aromatics come through instantly. Sweet juicy, fresh and with a creamy, yellow, citrus character on the palate, this offers a lot of up front, fresh, fruity charm.. 91 Points

1,406 Views   Tasted

The nose works well with its blend of green apples, Meyer lemon and a touch of floral and there is vibrancy in the fruit as well but this is not a long term drinker. So, enjoy it early in life for all that delicious fruit. 91 Points

2,796 Views   Tasted
2018 La Croix de Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 86

Medium-bodied, light, forward, easy drinking wine that's perfect for early, uncomplicated consumption. 86 Points

1,209 Views   Tasted
2018 La Croix de Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 85

Fresh, light, forward citrus filled early drinker with hint so white peach in the end note. Drink this over the next few years. 85 Points

1,243 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Medium bodied, fresh and refreshing, the yellow citrus fruits pop with acidity, the floral notes stand out and blast of honeysuckle and pomelo in the finish is just what the doctor ordered. 91 Points

3,033 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Much better in bottle than in barrel, the wine is fresh, medium-bodied, soft, refined, forward and lifted. Easy to like, the elegant red fruits, with their cigar box overtones taste and feel fine. Give this at least 5 years to develop more depth and nuances. 90 Points

2,700 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied with smoke-glazed red fruits, soft and gentle textures and a captivating tobacco and cassis oriented finish. 88 Points

2,716 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

This is another Pessac Leognan that rocks in 2016! With a good depth of color, the perfume with its smoky fruits, flowers, earth and tobacco leaf is great. And on the palate, the medium- bodied, refined wine is already easy to drink, leaving you with a core of silky, fresh, gravelly red cherries. 92 Points

2,930 Views   Tasted

This is another Pessac Leognan that took a giant leap forward during the barrel aging process. The nose combines smoky fruits, flowers, earth and tobacco leaf. Medium bodied and elegant, the wine is already easy to drink, finishing with its fresh, red cherry core of fruits. 92 Points

2,050 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied, elegant and fresh, with a sweet cherry and tobacco profile, the wine has a bright quality to the fruit that you taste and feel in the finish. 88 Points

2,755 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied, with forest and leafy notes, smoky, cassis and red berries in the light, finish. 87 Points

3,076 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

Floral in character with zesty lemons, green apples and pomelo is ripe, sweet, energetic and crisp. This is fresh and refreshing. 92 Points

1,555 Views   Tasted

Either I got this wrong in barrel, or the wine has really improved since then, or maybe both, but this was a beauty! The mix of fresh, green apples, lemon, grass and zesty, fresh grapefruit hit the spot. 92 Points

2,615 Views   Tasted

Light, fresh and still refreshing, the juicy mix of lemon, tart green apple, and lime rind is already easy to drink. 90 Points

3,109 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Vibrant freshness, with ample notes of just squeezed lemonss, green apples and flowers. The yellow citrus filled finish delivers a nice racy acidity. 91 Points

2,425 Views   Tasted

Lively, lemon, green apple, honeysuckle and white peach filled wine offers a vibrance from acidity with a crushed stone characteristic. 91 Points

2,224 Views   Tasted

Lively, bright, ripe citrus notes with a kick of lime, freshness for lift and a sweet, citrus peel and honeysuckle finish. 92 Points

2,660 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Medium bodied, energetic, soft, earthy expression, that already shows an elegant, easy to drink charm. The finish delivers ripe, sweet, red berries and tobacco. This will be a pleasure to well early in life, yet it can be aged for more complexity. 91 Points

3,060 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied, fresh, lively expression with soft tannins and a smoky bright red berry and earthy character that will drink well early in life. 91 Points

3,003 Views   Tasted

Finesse, charm and soft, polished, fresh, ripe, smoky, dark, red fruits make this medium-bodied wine quite the treat. 90 - 92 Pts

2,463 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Bracing acidity, unsweetened lemonade, grapefruit, and honeydew melon notes really get the perfume going. Fresh, and energetic on the palate, this is quite nice. 91 Points

2,660 Views   Tasted

Lemon, lime and green apple notes make an appearance in this fresh, energetic and bright wine, leaving you with a clean dose of crisp citrus fruits in the finish. 90-92 pts. 91 Points

2,549 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 87

Lighter style of Pessac Leognan, with all the tobacco, cigar box, some and red fruits you need on the nose, but on the palate, while it hits all the rights notes, it's just a bit thin. 87 Points

2,860 Views   Tasted

A leafy green aroma with smoked and dried red fruits, this wine is medium-bodied with a dry finish. 86-88 Pts

1,989 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Spring flowers, honeysuckle, citrus peel and a hint of tangerine create the nose. Medium bodied, fresh, zippy up front about its crisp, lemon and grapefruit charms. The wine was produced from a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon. 91 Points

2,189 Views   Tasted

Fresh lemon, lime and floral notes work well with the wine’s lively, citrus-filled character that carries through from start to finish. 90-91 Pts

2,520 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 83

Tart, dried, red fruits with tobacco in character are found in this light, crisp wine. 83 Points

2,285 Views   Tasted

Light in aromatics and in fruit, the wine will offer its fresh cherry personality early in life. 86-88 Pts

2,148 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Fresh, lively lemon peel, grapefruit, vanilla bean and green apple on the nose is a treat, but it gets even better with the sweet, slightly honeyed, fresh citrus fruits with just a hint of vanilla in the zesty finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon. 91 Points

2,338 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 88

Soft textured, medium bodied, fresh, light and easy to drink, yet there is ripeness and character to the wine and the fruit. This is not going to make old bones and should be best in its first decade of life. 88 Points

2,483 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied with tart black cherries and tapenade in the finish. 87-89 Pts

3,354 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 84

Light in color, style and depth, with bright, red berries and spice, from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the wine is dry in the tart finish. 84 Points

2,176 Views   Tasted

This wine is medium bodied with fresh and bright cranberry, cassis and plums. 86-89 Pts

2,585 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 87

From a blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon, this lighter, fresh, style of white Bordeaux wine offers a bright, citrus and apple profile in the finish. 87 Points

2,082 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Fully ready to go, the blend of just squeezed yellow citrus, white peach, pears, honeysuckle and pomelo hits the spot. Fresh, crisp and creamy, with a touch of honeyed orange and yellow citrus in the endnote. This is not a wine I would hang onto for further aging. 91 Points

2,291 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

On the light, elegant side of the style range with ripe, fresh cherries and black raspberries, earth and tobacco characteristics. The wine finishes with fresh, spicy, bright, red berries. 89 Points

5,034 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Just squeezed lemons, lime and green apple hit you right off the bat. On the palate, the wine is juicy, sweet, vibrant and fresh. Fully mature, there is no reason to wait, as this is tasting just great today! 91 Points

1,825 Views   Tasted

Light, fresh and refreshing, with a sweet, slightly honeyed citrus and grapefruit character. 89 Points

2,700 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

Medium-bodied, with smoke, burning leaf and cherry pipe tobacco aromas on the nose, the wine is elegant, soft and polished, with an olive and herb edge to the red fruits in the finish. 89 Points

2,419 Views   Tasted

Smoke, earth and black cherry scents lead to a soft, medium bodied, crowd pleasing, lighter style of Pessac Leognan that will drink well early. 89 Points

5,405 Views   Tasted
2008 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

More lemon peel than lemon on the nose, you also find tangerine, flowers and a hint of honey. Still vibrant, the fruit has flavor and freshness from start to finish. 91 Points

1,694 Views   Tasted
2008 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 88

Medium bodied, fresh, bright and almost crisp, there is a strong leafy component that is interspersed with the bright red, dried fruits and smoky, tobacco notes here. 88 Points

2,053 Views   Tasted

Carbonnieux is a medium bodied, light wine with a delicate smoky, cherry filled personality. This wine will drink young. 88 Points

3,377 Views   Tasted
2007 Château Carbonnieux Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

No need to wait here as this is a full-maturity. The yellow citrus and green apples, with their honeysuckle accents, remain sweet and fresh, though you should consider drinking any bottles over the next few years before the fruit fades. 90 Points

2,181 Views   Tasted
2005 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Earth, smoke, cassis, red plums and tobacco smells require little effort to find, Medium bodied, elegant and soft, this lighter style of Pessac Leognan should add more complexity over the next several years. I'd start drinking it in a few years. 90 Points

6,681 Views   Tasted
2004 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 87

Medium bodied, finesse styled, mature, soft textured, strawberry and cherry driven wine. 87 Points

2,892 Views   Tasted
2001 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Fully mature, this medium bodied wine exchanges concentration for grace, elegance and refinement. The fruit is ripe, the tannins are silky and the freshness provides all the lift you need, so you can enjoy the earthy, smoky, red berry complexities. This is good for at least another decade of evolution. 90 Points

2,727 Views   Tasted
2000 Château Carbonnieux  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Creme de cassis, black cherries, plums, tobacco and forest floor scents make up the perfume. Medium bodied, with a feminine, almost light style, this is ready to drink. The wine ends with smoke, spice and cherries. 90 Points

3,988 Views   Tasted