Deep colour with a brooding nose of black fruit, scorched earth and sage. The palate is creamy with black fruit and milk chocolate, before chalky tannins build and add a firmness that pairs well with the riper, caramelised fruit tones. This is a spicy, peppery and heady wine but the structure of tannins and acidity do well to tame the fruit and alcohol. The density of fruit continues through to a long and fine finish.
|Score: 16+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
The 2018 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 58.2% Merlot, 28.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 3.6% Petit-Verdot, harvested September 6 to October 2. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with a very serious nose of earthy layers—tilled soil, truffles, underbrush and crushed rocks—giving way to notions of Black Forest cake, kirsch and redcurrant jelly with wafts of cassis and pencil shavings. Full-bodied, the palate is sparked with fantastic energy, featuring layers of red and black fruits with a smooth, rounded texture and lively minty kick to the finish.
|Score: 92/94||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
This is an excellent second wine from Haut-Brion with fantastic depth of fruit and structure. Full yet very energetic and a long, linear finish. Shows great length.
|Score: 94/95||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is soft and understated. Bright floral notes, sweet red berry fruit and soft, silky tannins give the wine its gracious, classy personality. The 2018 offers lovely freshness in a soft, fruity style that holds quite a bit of near-term appeal. The blend is 58.2% Merlot, 28.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 3.6% Petit Verdot.
|Score: 89/91||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
Deepest crimson, not as opaque as so many this year. Delicate dark-fruit fragrance. Dark-red juicy fruit on the palate, intense but light on its feet. So juicy and moreish yet persistent, long. Concentrated without heaviness. 14.4%
|Score: 17||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
The second wine of Haut-Brion, made from 58.2% Merlot, 28.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2018 Le Clarence De Haut-Brion sports a deeper purple color as well as rocking notes of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, and earth. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, has beautiful tannins, and a great finish. It's already approachable but will keep for two decades.
|Score: 93/95||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
(58.2 Merlot, 28.5 Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7 Cabernet Franc, 3.6 Petit Verdot) | 20% new oak | 14.2 – 14.4% alc | 68 IPT | Harvested between 6th September and 2nd October Much darker in colour and also deeper in perfume than La Chapelle, this is a mighty wine with a briary, deep, blackberry and spice palate and the tannins are certainly not shy either. A rich and layered flavour is dusted by dynamic tannins which lift the darker olive and liquorice notes and elongate the finish, too. This is a superbly suave Clarence and it will repay long cellaring. I love the weight of this wine – while it is intense and dark in the glass, the palate weight is not too heavy and this means that it skips along on the palate and this makes for exciting drinking.
|Score: 17.5+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|