|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
This small (7.6 hectare) property is planted with 39% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and has a stylish new winery designed by Philippe Starck. Winemaker Guillaume Pouthier previously worked at Chapoutier in the Rhone, and regularly uses up to half whole bunch fermentation. This is currently one of Bordeaux's hottest properties and when we said to Guillaume that the style reminded us of Jamet Côte Rôtie he understood that this was high praise indeed from Farr Vintners!
Technical Director Guillaume Pouthier turned out another stellar wine with the 2019 Les Carmes Haut-Brion. Elegant, polished and wonderfully nuanced to the core, the 2019 dazzles right out of the gate. Whole clusters enhance a whole range of Cabernet Franc inflections in a wine that is immediately seductive. On the palate, the 2019 is creamy and textured. Plum, blood orange, spice, mocha and dried herbs lend an exotic quality that is so alluring. The 2019 is a mysterious, totally seductive wine that no one who is serious about Bordeaux will want to miss. To be sure, Les Carmes is far from typical, but it is incredibly unique. Its longevity is likely to be measured in multiples of decades. Quite simply, I loved it. Drink 2029-2069.
What a great nose with such complexity of blackberry, forest floor, mushroom and bark. Like walking in a deep forest. Full-bodied with a dense palate, yet it remains energetic and focused. Very fine texture. Flavorful finish. Extremely persistent. Fantastic young 2019. Try after 2028.
The 2019 Les Carmes Haut-Brion has turned out very well in bottle. Mingling aromas of plums and cassis with notions of blood orange, warm spices and new oak, it's full-bodied, velvety and seamless, with an ample core of bright, succulent fruit that's framed by an elegantly muscular chassis of ripe, powdery tannins and lively acids. Concluding with a long, expansive finish, it's reminiscent of a more giving, extroverted version of Pouthier's superb 2016. As is now the rule at this address, some whole bunches were retained during maceration, and the wine saw a long élevage in a variety of vessels, from classic 225-liter Bordeaux barriques to foudres and amphorae. The blend is dominated by 42% Cabernet Franc, complemented by 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot. Drink Date 2026 - 2060
From: Bordeaux 2019: The Southwold Tasting (Feb 2023)
The 2019 Les Carmes Haut-Brion has a perfumed, quite floral bouquet with red cherries, sloes, blackcurrant and a touch of marmalade. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, and gentle grip. Quite structured with plenty of substance on the finish, just a touch of espresso lingering on the aftertaste. Distinctive, is a positive sense. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.
- By Neal Martin on January 2023
Deep ruby colour. Though the trademark herbal accents from wholebunch are evident in the bouquet here, the fruit intensity adds a real sense of harmony to this vintage. Full of cherry blossom, violet and deeper tones of blackcurrant and graphite, this is very complex and enticing. The palate is initially glossy but quickly bolstered by chewy, moutchoating tannins. There are tones of iris flower, pencil shavings and dark cassis fruit together. This has real sructure and a unique personality. An excellent iteration of this idiosyncratic style.
Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2019 has a deep garnet-purple color. It has a lifted nose of kirsch and redcurrant jelly, with hints of rose oil, Indian spices, and tobacco leaf. The medium-bodied palate is intense and spicy, with super-plush tannins and soft acidity, finishing with great length.
Rippling violet and peony waves alongside creamy blueberry and raspberry fruits, this is a gorgeous 2019 that continues a strong run of vintages at the estate. Slate-textured, salt-licked stones, rosemary and saffron-edged, white truffle spice. Takes its time and stretches out through the palate, tingling and enticing. Technical director Guillaume Pouthier has created something here that stands on its own, with complexity and nuance. Give it a full five or six years before opening. 3.59ph. 60% stems, and once again you see the difference it makes not only in nuance and philosophy but also in the actual physical properties of the wine.
Tasted blind. Solid, savoury. Not thrilling, but not too sweet. Lots of substance here. And masses of – too much? – tannin. Drying finish. 13.5%
42% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot.
Deepest crimson. Subtle aroma of mostly black but also red fruit, with a gentle fruit sweetness and a fine leafy freshness. Really fragrant as it opens. Lovely balance between the youthful but fine-grained tannins and the fresh, lively fruit. Plenty of freshness too. Cool, elegant and long. (JH) 13.3%
Drink 2028 – 2038
I wasn't able to taste the 2019 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion from barrel, but it certainly brings the goods from bottle. Deep ruby/purple-hued, with a smorgasbord-like array of red, blue, and black fruits as well as violets, candied flowers, tobacco, and sappy herbs, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a deep, layered, concentrated mouthfeel, flawless balance, and that rare mix of power and elegance that truly great Pessac can deliver. Showing the more elegant style of the vintage, it checks in behind the magical, perfect 2018 but is very much in the style of the 2016. Readers will love having this beauty in the cellar, and it will evolve for 40-50 years if stored correctly. Hats off to winemaker Guillaume Pouthier for another thrilling wine.
The 2019 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is made from 50% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 16% Merlot, with 70% whole-bunch fermentation. It has undergone two years' aging in 90% new oak, and 10% amphorae. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly emerges from the glass to offer a powerful nose of pure cassis, fresh, juicy blackberries, and plum preserves with hints of pencil shavings, fallen leaves, crushed rocks, and rose petals, plus a hint of charcuterie. Medium-bodied, the palate really packs a punch of fruit, supported by fantastic tension and very firm, ripe, grainy tannins, finishing very long and layered. A tongue-tingling wine, it has lots of texture interest from grapes, stems, and oak.
Inky purple in colour, with peony and iris aromatics, then a whoosh of freshness that makes your mouth water before you are even halfway through. This is extremely impressive, well balanced, with fine tannins and real discretion but hidden power and depths. Clear floral character, with an austerity that makes you celebrate minerality. There are gourmet touches but the focus is rather on slate, rosemary and crushed stones with hints of chocolate shavings alongside the damson and blackberry fruit. 3.56pH, 80% in casks, 11% 20hl wood and 9% amphoras, 55% whole bunch fermentation (which brings the alcohol down to this relatively low level for the estate's location). A wine to surprise those who think Bordeaux can't deliver understatement. Tannin count of 82IPT. Drinking Window 2024 - 2044
The 2019 is a blend of 42% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, with an abv of 13.5%. The yields are a healthy 46hl/ha with the harvest completed between 19th and 29th September. The wine will be aged in 84% new French oak, with 7% in large foudres and 9% in amphoras, for 18-24 months. As usual, the fermentation was entirely carried out with whole bunches but this year the extraction was carried out with total infusion - there were only one or two punch downs at the very beginning of fermentation. For the remaining fermentation the vats were filled to the top to leave the cap submerged. This should increase aromas while retaining colour. Production will be 42,000 bottles. We were unable to taste the 2019 ahead of release.