Haut Carles Fronsac Bordeaux, The Complete Guide

Haut Carles Chateau

Learn everything about Haut Carles Fronsac with wine tasting notes, wine, and food pairing tips, best vintages, 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

Haut Carles History, Overview

Haut Carles, located in the Fronsac appellation in the Right Bank of Bordeaux is one of the older estates in the appellation. The actual Haut Carles chateau dates its creation back to the 1400s when it was used as a fortress.

You can easily visualize this due to the fortified towers that still remain. The property was originally owned by the De Carles family, which of course is where its name came from. The historic property is on the supplementary register of historical monuments in France.

Haut Carles has been in the de Castaing family for several generations as the family purchased the vineyard in 1900. Today, Haut Carles is owned and managed by Stephane Droulers and Constance Chastenet de Castaing.

Ets. Moueix was in charge of managing the estate and vineyard under a leasing agreement, until the late 1980s when the family made the decision to take control of the property. At that point in time, the estate slowly but steadily began increasing the quality of their wines.

Haut Carles Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 20-hectare vineyard of Haut Carles is planted to 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. The vineyard has a terroir of clay and limestone soils. The vines here are old, with an average of 35 years of age.

The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 10,000 vines per hectare for their newer plantings, which is quite high for the Right Bank, especially in Fronsac. The vineyard is managed using 100% organic farming techniques.

In 2003, Haut Carles underwent a complete restoration of their estate, the vineyards, and wine-making facilities. The new cellars allowed for everything to be moved by gravity flow for the first time.

For the vinification of the wine of Haut Carles, the wine is vinified in a combination of stainless steel, temperature-controlled vats, and 500-liter oak barrels.

Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. However, a portion of Haut Carles is also micro-vinified, meaning that it was entirely vinified in barrel. The wine is then aged in an average of 70% new, French oak barrels on its lees for 18 months before bottling.

The best vintages of Chateau Haut Carles are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009 and 2005.

When to Drink Haut Carles, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Haut Carles is better with at least 2-4 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for up to 1 hour, helping the wine soften to help develop the aromatic character.

Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Haut Carles offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 3-14 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Haut Carles with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Haut Carles is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Haut Carles is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes. Haut Carles is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta.

Haut Carles is the high end, cuvee of Chateau de Carles. Haut Carles is produced using 100% Merlot from their best parcels. Haut Carles made its debut with the 1994 Bordeaux vintage. Jean Luc Thunevin and Alain Raynaud act as the consultants.

Jean Philippe Fort is also involved with the property. This is an estate which exemplifies the saying of lots of cooks in the kitchen! On average, the production ranges quite a bit, from a low of 1,800 cases, up to 3,600 cases, depending on the quality and character of the vintage. There is a second wine, Chateau de Carles.


Haut-Carles Wine Tasting Notes

13 Vintages 44,229 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 93

Deeply colored, the wine opens with licorice, flowers, black cherries, smoke, espresso and cocoa. Lush, round, ripe and opulent, the wine is concentrated, velvety, fresh and rich. This is a solid, Right Bank value wine that you can enjoy young or age for 5 years or so for more earthy complexity. 92-94 Pts

2,050 Views   Tasted
2019 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 91

Black cherry and licorice dominate the nose and palate here. The wine is round, lush, ripe and showy, with a concentrated, opulent, fresh, fruity finish. One can drink this now, or wait a few years. 90-92 Pts

3,192 Views   Tasted
2018 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 92

Dark in color, the wine is rich, lush, opulent and filled with sweet, dark red fruits, licorice, espresso, cocoa and flowers. Supple, fresh and vibrant with ripe tannins and a polished finish, this is going to be nice to enjoy early, yet will add complexity with some aging. 92 Points

1,189 Views   Tasted

Flowers, licorice, chocolate and ripe, lush red and black fruits are served up in a silky, forward, supple-textured styled that will be great on release. 91-93 Pts

1,951 Views   Tasted
2016 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 90

Medium bodied, with a licorice and spicy, cherry griotte core of fruit, the dark cocoa and juicy berries come out in the finish. 90 Points

1,916 Views   Tasted
2015 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 91

Licorice, black cherry and cocoa round out the nose. Rich, silky and plush, with more than enough, ripe, dark red, luscious fruits. You can drink this now, or wait a few years. 91 Points

2,579 Views   Tasted

Rich, silky, plush, ripe fresh galore, with silky tannins, freshness, concentration and a rich, polished texture in the sweet, fruit filled finish. 91 Points

2,436 Views   Tasted
2014 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 87

Medium bodied, lighter than usual, with a reliance on its licorice and red fruit. Round textured and forward, this is still quite oaky. More time might help a bit. 87 Points

1,542 Views   Tasted
2013 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 89

With some depth of color for the vintage, the cherry griotte, licorice and oaky, round, medium bodied wine ends with black raspberry, oak and cherry. 88-90 Pts

2,134 Views   Tasted
2012 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 90

Forward, round and supple in texture, with a smoky, cherry dominated nose, the wine tastes like a mouthful of sweet, juicy, chocolate covered cherries and black licorice. This is uncomplicated, yet fun to drink. 90 Points

3,912 Views   Tasted

Spicy red and black fruits, sweet, ripe and rich in texture, the wine is packed with layers of ripe, fresh, jammy berries. 89-91 Pts

3,902 Views   Tasted
2011 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 87

Coffee, black pepper, dark red berries, medium bodied and a spicy, red fruit finish are found on this well-priced wine. 86-89 Pts

2,659 Views   Tasted
2010 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 91

Licorice, black and blue fruits, vanilla and coffee bean scents, fleshy, plush textures and a sweet, black cherry jam and mocha filled finish are found in this fun to drink, modern styled wine. 91 Points

5,424 Views   Tasted
2009 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 91

This is a delicious, ready to drink, Bordeaux value wine filled with licorice, jammy, juicy berries and chocolate. It's rich, round, ripe and already fun to drink. 91 Points

3,922 Views   Tasted
2008 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 88

With a nose of licorice, plums and spice, this generous, round, sweet wine ends with a wave of cherries. Already open and enjoyable, this is another solid, Bordeaux value wine for drinking in its youth. 88 Points

2,809 Views   Tasted
2005 Haut-Carles  (Fronsac) 89

This fun, easy to like, well priced, crowd pleasing Bordeaux wine offers plush textures and a perfume filled with ripe, jammy berries, licorice and earth. There is no reason to hold this wine any longer. 89 Points

2,612 Views   Tasted