2010 Haut-Bages-Libéral, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1066952 91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (a blend of 72% cabernet sauvignon and 28% merlot) Medium-dark ruby. Fruity, bright aromas of red cherry, red berries and flowers, complicated by cedar and graphite. Then light and lively in the mouth, with strawberry, raspberry and smoky dark cherry flavors complicated by hints of white pepper and gunflint. The finish features a lingering floral note and chewy tannins that will need some time to resolve but seem polished enough to guarantee a bright future. This is an excellent, classically styled Haut-Bages Liberal, just a step below the first growths: I loved its balance, refined texture and sneaky concentration, though it might fail to impress those looking for a large quantity of creamy, soft fruit.  (5/ 2011)

92-93 points James Suckling

 A balanced young wine, with smoky, blackberry and chewy aromas and flavors. Full and velvety, with a fresh finish.  (4/ 2011)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the best efforts from this estate since the 1982, this wine remains fairly priced. It exhibits ripe blue and black fruits, a dense plum/purple color, good acidity buttressing a remarkably rich, fleshy, sumptuous texture, and oodles of smoky black currant and blueberry fruit. Ripe, heady and rich, this wine will probably benefit from 2-5 years of cellaring despite its precociousness and keep for two decades.  (2/ 2013)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 The wine from this chateau, whose vines touch those of Latour, is solid and dense, with a sense of severity that is often the hallmark of this fifth growth. It is dark and the fruits whisper in the distance. This needs to age for several years.  (2/ 2013)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Dark in profile and rather stolid, with a beam of currant, plum and fig allied to a prominent iron shaft that clamps down on the charcoal-textured finish. Showing rather austerely today, but has the length and cut to develop in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2025.  (3/ 2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark and savoury but still fragrant in that darker style. Nicely dusty. Very firm tannins that are sure to melt finely. Dry long finish. Freshness at the very end brings harmony. Drink 2019-2030.  (11/ 2012)

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By: Ralph Sands |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/5/2013  | Send Email
Spicy and herbal.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.