2009 Haut-Bages-Libéral, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)
Pretty nose of blueberries, currants and blackberries, follows through to a full body, with ultra-refined tannins and polished, caressing texture. Very refined and long. Perhaps the best ever from here. Try after 2018.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Probably the finest Haut-Bages Liberal since the 1982, this beautifully rich wine has an inky purple color, a big, sweet kiss of creme de cassis, incense, some background spicy oak and forest floor. Its gorgeous fruit, full-bodied opulence, impressive purity, expansive texture and broad, savory finish make for a terrific wine to drink over the next 25+ years.
As so often, the wine is foursquare, tough and dark. It has powerful tannins with the weight of fruit well behind at this stage, structure to the front. It needs several years to come into balance.
Singed bay leaf and briar notes run along the edges, with ripe, almost sappy blackberry, black cherry and currant fruit leading to a finish of tobacco and olive. Latent grip hangs through the finish. Drink now through 2020.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Aromas of cassis, licorice, bitter chocolate and spicy oak. Sweet, rich and vinous, with harmonious acidity giving shape and grip to the fine-grained flavors of dark berries, cedar, smoke and leather. Good structure and energy here. This firmly built wine spreads out nicely on the lingering aftertaste. A big success for this property.
*V At UGC: A very ripe wine, with mint and orange zest undertones. Exotic to a point. Samples were variable. Note: Futures item. Wine will arrive late 2011 to 2013. You will be contacted for delivery instructions.