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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

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2018 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

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% alcohol with a pH of 3.55. 91-93 Pts

2115 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 99

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% alcohol 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

4815 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

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% alcohol 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.

1979 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 95

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.

768 Views   Tasted

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.

3604 Views   Tasted 95
2016 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 93

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% alcohol, with a pH of 3.5. The harvest took place September 28 to October 8.

2909 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 99

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.

5063 Views   Tasted

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!

7833 Views   Tasted 99

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% alcohol, 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.

6839 Views   Tasted 99
2015 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 97

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!

3571 Views   Tasted

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% alcohol 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

4017 Views   Tasted 95
2015 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

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% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. 89 - 91 Pts

1481 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 95

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.

3543 Views   Tasted

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

3511 Views   Tasted 93

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% alcohol with a pH of 3.6 and will be aged in 80% new, French oak barrels. 92-94 Pts

2685 Views   Tasted 93
2014 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le C des Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 88

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

1489 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

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.

2361 Views   Tasted

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% alcohol. 91-93 Pts

2526 Views   Tasted 92
2012 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 93

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.

6793 Views   Tasted

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.

2468 Views   Tasted 92

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% alcohol.

2388 Views   Tasted 93

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

3661 Views   Tasted 92
2012 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Le Clos Des Carmes  (Pessac-Léognan) 88

Made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is medium bodied with fresh herbs, olive tapenade and plums.

1623 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

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

2581 Views   Tasted

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.

2069 Views   Tasted 89

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

2104 Views   Tasted 90
2010 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

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.

4554 Views   Tasted

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.

5421 Views   Tasted 92
2009 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

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.

6087 Views   Tasted

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.

4603 Views   Tasted 92

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

3228 Views   Tasted 92
2008 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 88

Smoky cherries and oak on the nose, with a sweet and tart, medium bodied, herbal, black raspberry finish.

4944 Views   Tasted
2007 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 87

Fresh, short and sweet, the wine is ready to give its all today, ending with a soft, red cherry, dusty, spicy finish.

3710 Views   Tasted
2006 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

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.

3547 Views   Tasted

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.

3926 Views   Tasted 89

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.

5011 Views   Tasted 89
2005 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

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% alcohol.

4778 Views   Tasted

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.

4004 Views   Tasted 90

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.

3977 Views   Tasted 92

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.

3953 Views   Tasted 92
2004 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Elegant, finesse styled wine, with a complex, smoky, floral, earth, tobacco and cherry nose, soft, refined textures and freshness in the finish.

3489 Views   Tasted
2001 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

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.

2439 Views   Tasted
2000 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

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.

2766 Views   Tasted

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.

2833 Views   Tasted 90

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.

3184 Views   Tasted 90

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?

3969 Views   Tasted 92

With its leafy, black raspberry and fennel nose is a medium bodied, elegantly styled wine that’s already showing well.

4812 Views   Tasted 90
1999 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 87

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.

2978 Views   Tasted
1996 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 84

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.

2827 Views   Tasted
1995 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 85

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.

2351 Views   Tasted
1990 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

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.

2082 Views   Tasted
1989 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 86

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.

2016 Views   Tasted
1988 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 83

Starting to dry out, and showing much more tobacco and earth, than the small amount of red fruit that remains, this requires consumption.

2279 Views   Tasted
1986 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 88

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.

1999 Views   Tasted
1985 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 83

Earthy, sharp and bright, with an acidic, crisp, red berry profile, the wine requires drinking sooner than later.

1885 Views   Tasted
1975 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 84

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.

2141 Views   Tasted
1970 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 87

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.

2154 Views   Tasted
1959 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

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.

2011 Views   Tasted
1949 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

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.

1924 Views   Tasted
1947 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

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!

1727 Views   Tasted
1945 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 95

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!

1331 Views   Tasted
1943 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 85

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!

1485 Views   Tasted
1915 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 95

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.

2015 Views   Tasted
1910 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

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.

1138 Views   Tasted