Learn everything about Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, wine ratings, a 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 Les Carmes Haut Brion History, Overview
Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion got its start due to the efforts of the owner of another Bordeaux property that was located in Graves, or what we now call Pessac Leognan, Chateau Haut Brion.
Jean de Pontac of Haut-Brion, gifted a watermill that was situated in the middle of what would shortly become the Les Carmes Haut Brion vineyards. The vineyard was named after a group of friars who managed the estate from as early as 1584 until the French Revolution in 1789.
Leon Colin, a Bordeaux negociant and direct descendant of the previous owners, the Chantecaille-Furt family, bought the property at the start of the 19th Century. Didier Furt began managing Les Carmes Haut Brion in 1987. Under his leadership, the estate was able to one additional hectare of vines to their vineyard.
Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, The Modern Age
Didier Furt and Caroline Furt, along with their daughter Penelope managed Les Carmes Haut Brion until 2010 when Les Carmes Haut Brion was sold later that year to Patrice Pichet, head of the Bordeaux real estate company, Groupe Pichet.
The price set a new record for Bordeaux vineyard land at the time selling for 3.8 Million Euros per hectare. The total price was close to 18 million Euros. Shortly after selling to Patrice Pichet, the vineyard of Les Carmes Haut Brion was expanded by the purchase of another 5.6 hectares of vines.
The Pichet group, headed by Patrice Pichet has continued increasing its holdings in Pessac Leognan. In July, 2011, they purchased 6.5 hectares of vines from Chateau Le Thil. This was to be expected as Les Carmes Haut Brion was already leasing a large portion of that land from Le Thil. The remaining Bordeaux vineyard land was sold to Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte.
Patrice Pichet had even bigger plans for Le Carmes Haut Brion. The new owners have continued adding to their holdings in Pessac Leognan. In September 2013, the Pichet group made another purchase in the appellation when they bought 17 hectares of vines from the Briest family, the owners of Chateau Haut Nouchet for 11 Million Euros.
The Briest family retained the vines to produce white wine, as well as 12 hectares of vines for the production of red wine. Patrice Pichet has said they plan to completely replant the vineyard at a much higher vine density of 10,000 vines per hectare.
Initially, the young vines will be used in the production of the second wine of Les Carmes Haut Brion, Le Clos de Carmes Haut Brion, The name was shortened to Le C des Carmes Haut Brion. In time, it is expected the better vines will be added to increase the quantity of the Grand Vin.
Le C des Carmes Haut Brion is made from the majority of the vineyard, so it is a much larger production. In fact, 22 hectares of vines are used. The wine is quite different in character as those vines are planted to 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot.
In February 2013, the new owners of Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion began a complete renovation of the chateau and wine-making facilities.
The famed architect and designer, Philippe Starck was hired to create new wine-making facilities, reception areas, and barrel cellars.
The design includes details such as an entirely gravity-fed cellar. The actual design for the building resembles a boat that is floating in a body of water that you get to by walking over small bridges.
The inspiration behind the design came from how Bordeaux wines were first exported over the water. The tasting room includes a terrace with an overlook of Les Carmes Haut Brion. The cost is thought to have been more than ten million Euros. The renovations were completed in time for the 2015 vintage.
Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
In total, the entire hectare vineyard of Les Carmes Haut Brion is 29.6 hectares. However, only 7.6 hectares of vines are used to produce Les Carmes Haut Brion. The vineyard is planted to 41% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard can be divided into 17 separate parcels. The vineyard has a terroir of gravel, sand, and clay with some limestone in the soil. Their best terroir is located directly in front of the chateau.
As you can see, Les Carmes Haut Brion maintains a large portion of Cabernet Franc in the vineyard. In fact, over time, they plan to continue adding more Cabernet Franc to their plantings, while decreasing the Merlot, until about 50% of the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc works perfectly here, due to the limestone and gravel in the soil.
However, you need to keep in mind that historically, Les Carmes Haut Brion has always maintained a large portion of Cabernet Franc in their vineyard. In fact, during the early 1900s, up until the mid to late 1940s close to 90% of the vineyard was cultivated to Cabernet Franc. On average, the vines are close to 45 years of age. However, they have old Cabernet Franc vines, some of which are almost 90 years of age having been planted close to the start of World War 2.
Essentially, the complex soil composition of Les Carmes Haut Brion serves to create three separate terroirs. The soils located close to Haut Brion are gravel-based. Near to the chateau, the soils are a mix of gravel, sand, clay, and stones. Just a bit further from the chateau, you find more limestone and clay soils with subsoils that have deep clay over limestone.
The vineyard is planted to a vine density typical of the Medoc at 10,000 vines per hectare. They have gentle slopes that reach 32 meters at their peak elevation.
As you might expect from the name of the chateau, the vineyards are located not far from Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion. It is important to note that while the estate owns almost 30 hectares of land in Pessac Leognan, but much of that is devoted to verdant greenery and forest lands.
Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion Winemaking
To produce the wine of Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, the grapes are whole berry vinified. Pumpovers are not used here. Instead, think of this as more of an infusion as the grapes and juices are allowed to saturate with the skins. The entire process is quite gentle.
With the 2015 vintage, Les Carmes Haut Brion started to vinify on average, 45% of their fruit whole cluster. Meaning that about 45% of their grapes are fermented using grapes with stems still intact. The goal here is to add more freshness and an oceanic minerality characteristic to the wine. It is important to keep in mind, this is not new for Les Carmes Haut Brion, as they did not destem during the 1960s either.
The whole, uncrushed berries with the stems attached and the grapes that are destemmed are carefully placed into the vats in a fashion that looks similar to a multi-layered cake. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels.
The vinification takes place in 27 different tanks that combine the use of wood, stainless steel and cement.
They have 4, 53 hectoliter oak vats, 6, 62 hectoliter stainless steel tanks and 16, cement tanks that vary in size from 40 to 80 hectoliters. The range of vat sizes allows the estate to vinify on a plot-by-plot basis.
The wine of Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion is then aged in an average of 100% new, French oak barrels for close to 18 months.
However, 5% of the wine is aged in clay amphora. You find two types of amphora at Les Carmes Haut Brion, concrete and clay. The difference in the anmphora is the amount of air allowed into each type of amphora. There is a second wine, Les Clos de Carmes Haut Brion, which is considered a unique wine because it comes from an entirely different vineyard source.
Much of the vines used to produce Les Clos de Carmes Haut Brion were previously part of Le Thill and Haut Nouchet. Guillaume Pouthier is the director of the estate and is also in charge of the winemaking at Les Carmes Haut Brion.
The Best Vintages of Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion are: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2012. These are all recent vintages. I’ve tasted older vintages dating all the way back to 1910.
As you can see from my notes on the older and even ancient vintages, there have been some quite nice wines made here over the years.
The wines from the 1940s have been exemplary! But the best wines to buy are clearly being made here today. In fact, the 2016 Les Carmes Haut Brion is the best vintage produced in the history of the estate!
When to Drink Chateau, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-3 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 Les Carmes Haut Brion is usually better with at least 8-10 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 10-35 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Les Carmes Haut Brion, with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Les Carmes is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.
Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion Character and Style
The style of wine from Les Carmes Haut Brion until recently has been on the light side for the Pessac Leognan region, due to the high percentage of Cabernet Franc planted in the vineyard. With the new owners, the style has changed a bit. Today, the wine is showing more depth and concentration, while retaining its elegance and freshness.
Depending on the vintage, the wine can offer more complexity in the nose, than in the mouth. The 2014 Les Carmes Haut Brion displayed more depth and complexity than many previous vintages making it a contender for the best wine produced in the history of the chateau.
Les Carmes Haut Brion has the ability to age and evolve. The best example of this was discovered this year when tasting a magnum of the 1915 Les Carmes Haut Brion at the chateau!
On average, close to 4,000 cases of wine are produced in an average year. The estate makes a second wine, Le Clos de Carmes Haut Brion. However, this wine is actually its own unique brand as it’s produced from grapes planted in Martillac that were originally part of the Le Thil vineyard.
Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Wine Tasting Notes
47 Vintages 313,559 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2022||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
The first thing you notice is the black, purple hue. Next, it its the perfume with its black, blue and red fruits, incense, curry, flowers, smoke and herbs. Opulent, restrained, elegant and powerful, the wine comes in layers. You can sense the array of exotic spices, mint, blue and black fruits, crushed rocks, black cherries and white pepper on the palate. Full-bodied and dense, the wine somehow remains light on its feet. The end notes, meshing elegance and power bring everything together, as the finish crosses the 60 second mark. This is perhaps even better than the perfect, 2016! The wine was made using 70% whole bunch clusters during fermentation. From a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot, 13.5% ABV, pH 3.6. The wine is aging in a combination of 70% new, French oak, 20% foudres and 10% amphora. Picking took place September 5 - September 22. Yields were 40 hectoliters per hectares. Drink from 2025-2050. 99-100 Pts.
7,316 Views Tasted May 8, 2023
|2022||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Once past the dark color, the wine jumps with black cherries, flowers, blackberries, mint, and spearmint in the nose. On the palate, the fruits are clean, fresh, and pure, but not simple. You also find salt, crushed rocks, spice, and peppery, sweet, black cherries on the mid-palate and in the spicy, vivacious finish. Using 30% whole bunches in the vinification, the wine blends 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, 13.5% ABV, 3.6%. The wine is aged in 20% new, French oak barrels. As a reminder, this is not a second wine. It comes from an entirely different vineyard and blend. Drink from 2023-2035. 93-95 Pts.
2,268 Views Tasted May 8, 2023
|2021||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Garnet in color, the wine opens with tobacco leaf, cigar box, thyme, herbs, flowers, espresso and red berries. Medium/full-bodied, vibrant, fresh and focused on its purity of fruit as well as its elegance. This sublime wine is silky, and sensuous. This finish is long and refined, with sweet, ripe cherries, dark cocoa, spice, herbs, a drop of citrus and cigar wrapper with a cool touch of salt and crushed rock that come out in the endnotes. The wine was made using 45% whole bunch clusters during fermentation. From a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, 13.5% ABV, pH 3.6. The wine is aging in a combination of 70% new, French oak, 20% foudres and 10% amphora. Drink from 2025-2050. 94-96
4,442 Views Tasted May 20, 2022
|2021||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Bright red fruits, spearmint, leafy tobacco and spice create the nose. Medium-bodied, fresh, crisp, energetic and vibrant, the bright red fruits in the finish are accented with a touch of salt in the endnote. Using 20% whole bunches in the vinification, the wine blends 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, 13.5% ABV. The wine is aged in 20% new, French oak barrels. Drink from 2023-2033. 90-92
1,784 Views Tasted May 20, 2022
|2020||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Medium/full-bodied, concentrated, vibrant, fresh, refined, elegant, and completely focused on its purity of fruit. Initially, you find notes of flowers, tobacco leaves, thyme, red pit fruits, mint, and an array of spices. The fruit gracefully unfolds on your palate with nuances of sea salt, herbs, spices, red, and black currants, cocoa, and espresso. The long, seamless, vivacious finish, with its spicy, mint, and oceanic edge takes its time building in intensity and width as it lingers. Drink from 2027-2060.
7,654 Views Tasted Mar 21, 2023
Garnet in color, the wine opens with tobacco leaf, cigar box, thyme, herbs, flowers and red berries. Medium/full-bodied, vibrant, fresh and focused on its purity of fruit and elegance, this sublime wine is silky, sweet and sensuous. This finish is long and refined, with sweet, ripe cherries, dark cocoa, spice, herbs and cigar wrapper with a cool touch of salt and crushed rock in the endnotes. The wine was made using 55% whole bunch clusters during fermentation. From a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot, 13.7% ABV. The wine is aging in 80% new, French oak which is already close to fully integrated. 96-98 Pts
8,258 Views Tasted May 20, 2021
|2020||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Ruby in color, the wine is floral in nature with notes of smoke, cherries, tobacco, herbs, earth and red pit fruits. Soft, elegant, forward and approchable, the wine is medium-bodied, soft and refined, ending with sweet and spicy kirsch and thyme. Using 20% whole bunches in the vinification, the wine blends 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. 91-92 Pts
2,100 Views Tasted May 20, 2021
|2019||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
The only Pessac Leognan I was not able to taste in barrel has turned out beautifully! The wine opens with flowers, smoke, tobacco leaf, herbs, sea-salt, blackberries, plums and forest leaf aromas. If that wasn't enough to steal the show, the wine is silky, intense, fresh, elegant, deep and sensuous on your palate. Multi-layered and multi-faceted, this stunning wine has a seamless finish that doesn't quit. Give it a few years in the cellar before pulling a cork as this has the potential to age and evolve for 2-3 decades with ease. Drink from 2030-2060.
7,415 Views Tasted Mar 29, 2022
|2018||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Aromatically, this beauty kicks off with an array of just-picked flowers, smoky, dark red and black fruits, licorice, herbs, wet earth, cigar box, forest leaf, and salty, crushed rocks. Deeply colored, concentrated, full-bodied, elegant, soft, refined and pure on the palate, the seamless finish keeps on going with layers of fresh, ripe, sweet, sensuously textured fruits. The wine is a blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot, 13.75% ABV. This has the potential to age and evolve for 2-3 decades with ease.
10,827 Views Tasted Mar 15, 2021
Caliginous in hue, the wine exudes tobacco, smoke, blackberry, pepper, flowers, and spearmint. On the palate, you'll find density with lift, intensity with complexity, sweetness with verve. The fruit shows a sublime sense of purity, similar to picking grapes off the vine during harvest and eating them right there. The finish matches power with elegance and length. The deep, opulent, mellifluous, mineral accented fruits just don't want to quit and they remain with you for at least 60 seconds. From a blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot and reaching 13.75% ABV with a pH of 3.61, the wine was made using 55% whole bunches during fermentation. Currently aging in 75% new, French oak barrels, 15% in foudre and 10% in amphora for 18-24 months before bottling. The harvest took place September 13 to September 28. 98-100 Pts
8,570 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2018||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Dark in color, this wine offers its oceanic, plum, blackberry, floral and deep black perfume right off the bat. Medium-bodied, round, silky and polished, the wine is fruity with silky, plums, black cherries, cocoa and licorice. Using 25% whole bunches in the vinification, the wine was made from 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.6% ABV with a pH of 3.55. 91-93 Pts
2,986 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Clearly a finesse styled wine with plenty of smoke, ripe red fruits, flowers and cigar box notes. Elegant, fresh, medium/full-bodied with lift and length, give the wine a decade to develop more nuances and complexities.
6,427 Views Tasted May 17, 2020
The wine is as dark in fruit as it is in color. This is a nap on Pratesi sheets – a silky, sensuous and richly textured rendezvous. Vibrancy on the palate, creamy tannins and layers of fruit-enhanced strata propel a surfeit of multi-colored fruit. Not quite at the level of the stunning 2016 but very close. The wine was made using 50% whole bunches during fermentation. From a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.25% with a pH of 3.59.
5,265 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2017||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Plump, sugar-laced black fruit, boysenberry, licorice, campfire smoke and barbecue essence get things underway. Quicky the sassy tannins kick in, shepherding you to a chic, fresh, tobacco infused, fruit-filled core. Using 30% whole bunches in the vinification, the wine was made from 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 13% ABV with a pH of 3.72. The harvest took place September 19 to October 3 and, sadly, close to 25% of the vines were damaged by frost.
2,735 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
The initial blast of crushed rock, salty tannins and pure, deep, red fruits is all it takes to get hooked here. The nose, with its smoky, cigar box, flowers, leafy herbs, wet earth and sweet cherry notes might have started the show, but it is the intensity and purity in the fruit on the palate, with the 50 second finish that makes it all work. This is a star in the making! I am pointing this out because even though this vintage seems to have doubled in price since we initially raved about it, for a wine of this quality, it is well worth the price.
7,691 Views Tasted Feb 10, 2019
Long, fresh, graceful, elegant, pure and refined, the layers of silky, cashmere textured fruits just doesn't quit. The wine has a uniqueness of character you can feel, taste and smell. This is a stunner and it still sells for a song. If you are not hip to what is going on with Les Carmes Haut Haut Brion, you should be!
10,679 Views Tasted May 12, 2018
With a real intensity of raw material here, the nose pops with smoke, tobacco, flowers, earth, boysenberry and cassis. As time goes on, you find dark chocolate covered plums too. The texture is surreal. Pure silk and velvet fill your mouth and coat your palate. Concentrated and deep, this has a freshness, vibrancy and purity of fruit that really leaves you breathless. To understand the finish, picture eating ripe and almost over berries right off the vine, while smoking an aged Cuban cigar and you are almost there, if you just add the silky, velvet textures, rocks and stones. The finish sticks with you for over 60 seconds! The wine was made from blending 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that included 50% of the grapes being whole, bunch fermented, the wine reached 13.8% ABV, with a pH of 3.55. The harvest took place September 21 to October 8. The wine is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels, with 5% of the production aging in clay amphora.
9,268 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2016||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fresh, sweet, black fruits and boysenberry, with licorice and smoke to complicate the character. Silky, fresh fruits, soft tannins, with a juicy plum and salty, mineral driven finish that has body, finesse, length and the ability to age. Using, 25% whole bunches in the vinification, the wine was made from 51% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. 14% ABV, with a pH of 3.5. The harvest took place September 28 to October 8.
3,790 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
This is a stunner. It's hard to find a place to start. You have silky, sensuous, refined textures. A complex melange of aromatics that display smoke, oyster shell, tobacco, and fresh, ripe, just picked flowers and dark red fruits. Or perhaps you focus on the long fresh, ripe, lingering, fruit filled finish. Either way, the wine rocks! For the price this is still selling for, you should be all over this treat!
4,729 Views Tasted Mar 12, 2018
Minerals, flowers, sweet, ripe berries, forest floor and tobacco scents create the perfume. This wine is soft, silky and smooth with a long finish. The tannins are powerful, elegant, sophisticated and express more of a refined, saline quality in this vintage than in previous years. This wine should age extremely well with little effort. Using 45% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and vinified with 45% of the stems still intact, the wine reached 14.02% ABV with a pH of 3.7. 90% of the wine is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels and the remainder is aging in amphora. 94 - 96 Pts
4,998 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2016
|2015||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Smoky with licorice, dark berries, cocoa and earthy qualities, this wine is medium/full-bodied, soft, silky and in balance with freshness and sweet, dark, red fruits and spice in the finish. Blending 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14% ABV with a pH of 3.8. 89 - 91 Pts
1,883 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2016
|2014||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Much better from bottle than barrel, this continues developing nicely. Perfumed, silky, elegant and refined, the smoky, dark, ripe, sweet, fresh, red fruits, spice, earth and tobacco linger and build.
4,808 Views Tasted Feb 6, 2017
The wine has put on more weight, gained in softness and complexity than when last tasted during the En Primeur tastings. It’s well worth keeping an eye on. 92-94 Pts
4,717 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
Smoke, black cherry, thyme and the scent of rich soil create a complex perfume. A softly structured, dark red and blackberry-filled wine with the kind of concentration and depth of flavor that yields a delectable, silken black plum and cherry end note. It feels as good as it tastes. Made from blending 54% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.22% ABV with a pH of 3.6 and will be aged in 80% new, French oak barrels. 92-94 Pts
3,869 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2015
|2014||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
A crowd pleaser. Sweet, lush and forward, this fresh, medium-bodied wine is produced from vines planted in Leognan, which were previously part of the Le Thil vineyard. The wine made its debut in 2011. 87-89 Pts
2,000 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2015
|2013||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Dark cherry, tobacco and licorice create the perfume. The wine is soft, forward and polished on the palate, with ripe, dark cherries and plums in the finish, making it easy to drink on release.
2,762 Views Tasted Feb 3, 2016
Fennel, smoke, and spicy black raspberries are easy to find in this medium-bodied, elegantly styled wine. Correctly made with a light touch, the wine is deeper and more interesting than the property produced in 2012, finishing with a round, sweet finish brimming with dark chocolate and plum. Produced from the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc in the appellation with 59% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot, and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.2% ABV. 91-93 Pts
2,891 Views Tasted Apr 21, 2014
|2012||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Kiss of oak, earth, smoke and truffle, smooth and silky with a polished, elegant, blackberry, finesse styled, smoky, fruit filled finish. This is showing more depth and softer textures with bottle age.
7,702 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
With good color, a nose of forest scents, herbs, black raspberry, mint and cassis, the medium/full bodied, round, soft wine finishes with sweet, mineral driven dark red fruits.
3,304 Views Tasted May 15, 2015
With a complex nose of cigar leaf, black cherry, oak and earth, the wine is soft, round and plush, with a blast of ripe, silky fruit in the finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 44% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon that reached 14.1% ABV.
3,212 Views Tasted Mar 11, 2015
With licorice, smoke, blackberry and earthy notes, this wine has plush, soft, polished textures and a sweet blackberry and dark chocolate finish. 90-93 Pts
4,459 Views Tasted Apr 25, 2013
|2012||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le Clos Des Carmes (Pessac-Léognan)|
Made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is medium bodied with fresh herbs, olive tapenade and plums.
1,873 Views Tasted May 15, 2015
|2011||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Tight, the wine needed a little coaxing to come around. Medium bodied and fresh, with a sweet, dark, red berry core, there is some dryness to the tannins in the finish that stops the wine from scoring higher. Still, this is nice wine to drink while waiting for the 2009, 2010, 2012 and the 2014 to mature as it made in an open, early drinking style
2,848 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
Light in style, with floral, cherry, smoke and espresso in the nose, this medium bodied wine ends with red plum sensations. This is not a wine to age. It will be quite easy to drink on release.
2,309 Views Tasted Feb 19, 2014
The debut vintage was produced entirely under the control of the new owner Patrice Pichet, who brought in Stephane Derenoncourt. With a blend of 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine will be aged in 50% new oak. With jammy black raspberry, floral, smoke and spicy notes, this soft-textured wine ends with a fresh red cherry finish. 90-91 Pts
2,328 Views Tasted Apr 25, 2012
|2010||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Produced from a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Chocolate mint accompanied by fennel, black cherry and thyme in the nose. On the palate, the wine is smooth, light on its feet and serves up a fresh blackberry and cocoa sensation with little effort.
5,303 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
This medium bodied, finesse style of Pessac Leognan offers smoke, tobacco, black cherry, earth and spice notes in the nose. Refined tannins and fresh, red and black fruits are found in the elegant, polished finish.
6,126 Views Tasted Feb 15, 2013
|2009||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Blending 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon produced a wine with a smoky, black cherry, earthy nose, complicated by aromas of fresh herbs and smoke. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, soft, round, elegant, fresh and displays a sweet plum and olive tapenade profile.
7,304 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
Attention seeking aromas filled with tobacco, cassis, earth and hot bricks pop from the glass. Medium bodied, with elegant, supple textures, this round Pessac Leognan is a pleasure to taste, from start to finish, ending with layers of polished blackberry and spicy cassis.
5,146 Views Tasted Feb 24, 2012
2009 Les Carmes Haut Brion, with its large percentage of cabernet franc, produced a light style of wine that expresses earth, herb, tobacco, and blackberry aromatics. This elegant wine ends with chocolate covered blackberry flavors. 90/92 Pts
3,753 Views Tasted Aug 26, 2010
|2008||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Smoky cherries and oak on the nose, with a sweet and tart, medium bodied, herbal, black raspberry finish.
6,151 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|2007||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fresh, short and sweet, the wine is ready to give its all today, ending with a soft, red cherry, dusty, spicy finish.
4,702 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|2006||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Medium bodied, lighter, red berry dominated wine with soft, silky textures, an olive tapenade, smoke, cherry and earthy personality that is ready for drinking today.
3,880 Views Tasted May 25, 2016
Jammy black cherries and oak in the nose, with a medium bodied, sweet and tart, spicy, cherry and cranberry note in the finish. You can drink this now, or age it for a few more years.
4,241 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
Ruby colored with scents of red berries, stone, smoke and cigar ash, this medium bodied wine is about finesse. Elegant and soft in texture, the wine ends with a light, red, fruit filled finish. This is a nice, lighter style of Bordeaux wine, but it needs a little more concentration and depth.
5,281 Views Tasted Oct 29, 2011
|2005||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Medium bodied, soft, silky and refined, the wine offer a polished, fresh, red berry, earthy and truffle character. Produced from a blend of 45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon reached 13.5% ABV.
5,604 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
Spicy, forest floor, truffle and blackberry notes create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, soft, fresh, developed and ready for drinking.
4,799 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2015
Pure, fresh, plum and black cherry, earth, tobacco and smoke, round tannins and soft textures are found in this wine. Like most vintages of Les Carmes Haut Brion, this can be enjoyed at a young age, due to its open, forward style.
4,705 Views Tasted May 1, 2012
The high level of Cabernet Franc adds fresh red character, herbs and spice the wine, giving it a unique profile. Medium to full bodied and elegantly textured, this polished is soft and showy.
4,660 Views Tasted Jan 20, 2008
|2004||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Elegant, finesse styled wine, with a complex, smoky, floral, earth, tobacco and cherry nose, soft, refined textures and freshness in the finish.
3,738 Views Tasted Jan 4, 2015
|2001||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
This fully mature charmer serves up an elegant dose of cigar box, cherry, wet earth and tobacco. This fresh, soft wine is definitely ready to go. If you have a bottle, pop a cork as there is no reason to age it any longer.
2,819 Views Tasted Oct 25, 2014
|2000||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Fully mature, medium-bodied and supple-textured, the wine offers a bright red fruit and tobacco leaf personality with a green, herbal edge in the finish. This is in its prime-time drinking window.
3,654 Views Tasted Feb 26, 2019
An elegant, finesse style of wine, medium bodied, with a tobacco, boysenberry, cherry and spice box nose. 30 minutes of air added depth and softness to the wine. Good freshness in the finish, the tannins were just a bit rough in the end note.
3,477 Views Tasted May 14, 2017
Showing a bricky, ruby hue, the wine is spicy, earthy, smoky and with a tobacco and cigar leaf edge, medium bodied and fully mature, finishing with a cassis focused profile. There is no reason to hold this for further development.
3,881 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
Charming, elegant and ready for business, this medium bodied, soft, tobacco, forest and black cherry dominated, round wine is on the refined side of the style range. It might improve a bit, but it's quite nice to drink today. Why wait to pop a cork?
4,599 Views Tasted Dec 14, 2012
With its leafy, black raspberry and fennel nose is a medium bodied, elegantly styled wine that’s already showing well.
5,427 Views Tasted Mar 5, 2010
|1999||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Mature in color, with smoky, tobacco and cigar box profile and scorched cherry finish, as this tastes much older than its true age, this requires consumption over the next few years.
3,739 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1996||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Sporting a mature hue, the wine is leafy, herbal and shows a menthol and cherry slant in the aromatics. The wine is starting to gain in acidity while beginning to drop its fruit. There is a bit of rusticity in the finish. Drink up.
3,603 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1995||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Smoke, ash and tobacco on the nose, with some light plum and herbal notes. The wine requires consumption before it loses more of its previously sweet, red cherry, softly textured essence.
3,254 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1990||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Sweet, smoky, barbecue, forest floor and floral notes with tobacco and cherry accents. The wine is fully mature, soft and delicate, yet retains a charming, black cherry note in the finish. This requires drinking sooner than later as it's only going fade from here.
2,578 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1989||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Showing the appearance of a wine that is 20 years older than its real vintage, the earthy, smoky, tobacco oriented wine is light, soft and short, requiring consumption.
2,407 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1988||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Starting to dry out, and showing much more tobacco and earth, than the small amount of red fruit that remains, this requires consumption.
2,794 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1986||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Cassis, smoke, wet earth, cigar wrapper and tobacco on the nose, with a delicate, black cherry profile on the palate, the wine is fully mature.
2,518 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1985||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Earthy, sharp and bright, with an acidic, crisp, red berry profile, the wine requires drinking sooner than later.
2,141 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1975||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Wet forest floor and tobacco aromas, with some discernible red cherries, the wine is medium bodied, finishing with a tart cherry profile. The wine is more than fully mature.
2,454 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1970||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Cherry pipe tobacco and forest scents on the nose, with a delicate, soft, elegant, sweet, cherry profile, there is quite a bit of charm in the wine for its age.
2,464 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1959||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Looking much younger than its true age, the wine offers a complex aromatic profile of Christmas spice box, dark chocolate, cigar box, nutmeg, cassis and tobacco. The orange rind and wild strawberry sensation in the medium bodied, silky finish has retained its freshness along with sweetness in the fruit.
2,388 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1949||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Flowers, smoke, hints of licorice, cassis, earth and forest aromatics are only the beginning. The wine is definitely fully mature, but there is still some fruit, hanging on. The tannins and a rustic, but that does not stop you from enjoying this old school, classic treat.
2,233 Views Tasted Mar 26, 2017
|1947||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Served double blind, this showed much younger than its true age. The nose, with its blend of tobacco, cigar box, ash, tar, smoke and fresh, sweet cherries really gets you going. On the palate, the wine still youthful, fresh, soft, with the patina of age and its earthy, spice filled, red berry character. What a treat!
2,205 Views Tasted Apr 28, 2015
|1945||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
What a super wine. Filled with all the smoke, tobacco, cedar and cigar box you could ever ask for, the wine is silky, soft and the finish tastes as good as it feels, with all those sweet, cherries, flowers and smoke. The bottle was from the chateau, so the storage was of course great. It is interesting to note that the blend in those days was about 90% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and even more surprising is that the wine was probably 100% whole cluster fermented!
1,828 Views Tasted Jul 5, 2017
|1943||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
1943 is not a vintage I see often. Made during the peak of World War 2, this is truly bottled history, which was not lost on me as I experienced every hint of leafy herbs, tobacco leaf, bright red currants, peppery herbs, and forest leaf. Drink from 2022-2025.
1,637 Views Tasted Nov 2, 2022
Surprisingly good for a war years wine, this was all about its smoke, tobacco, cigar box, earth, cedar and light cherry notes. Medium bodied, and almost light in weight, there was still a hint of freshness to the red berries in the finish. A treat to taste indeed!
1,753 Views Tasted May 9, 2016
|1915||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
If the magnum did not come from the chateau owner’s cellar, due to its youthful appearance, I would not have believed this was 100 years old. Menthol, tobacco, truffle, mocha and spice box in the nose was just the starting course. If you had more time, there was clearly more aromatic subtleties to find. As hard as it to believe, the wine has a lot of fruit remaining for a wine half its age, let alone a wine that has hit the century mark! Silky, soft, elegant and still with sweetness of fruit coupled with charm and the earthy, tobacco patina of age, this was an amazing treat I will not be forgetting. When you add the fact that is a war wine, and we’re talking World War 1, that makes this even more incredible! Clearly, this is already a definite candidate for my wine of the year.
2,415 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2015
|1910||Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion (Pessac-Léognan)|
Light rose hip tea in color, at close to 110 years of age, this amazingly was still showing up with interesting things to say. The tobacco, spice, earth, smoke, truffle nose also showed a nice whiff of dried red pit fruits. Light and silky on the palate, you found of that sweet, dried red fruit note, along with tea, tobacco and spice in the finish. What a treat to drink bottled history like this.
1,731 Views Tasted Feb 14, 2019