2013 Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 59% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, there will be approximately 15,600 bottles of the 2013 (one-third of the 2012 production). The results of Pichet’s investments and the draconian selection process are stunning as this is one of the stars of the vintage. A deep ruby/purple color is followed by notes of sweet black cherries, charcoal, graphite, white chocolate, camphor and asphalt. With a medium- to full-bodied mouthfeel, stunning purity, and an overall completeness that is rare in this vintage, this is a major sleeper of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2023. A brilliant success, the 2013 is one of the finest wines produced at this tiny, jewel of an estate sandwiched between Pape Clement, Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion. It has frequently been an erratic performer, particularly in view of the terroir, but since its purchase by Patrice Pichet, numerous investments have been made. (RP)
Aromas of blackberry, licorice and tar. Full body, firm and chewy tannins. Structured and very pretty. Structured. Excellent. Well done. Better in 2018.
The 2013 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is one of the riper, more opulent wines readers will come across in this vintage. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke and spices all hit the palate as the 2013 shows off its super-distinctive personality. The style is ripe and flashy, but it all works very nicely. The creamy, textured finish is a thing of pure beauty. Quite unusually, in 2013, Les Carmes is dominated by Cabernet Franc, which makes up a whopping 59% of the blend, along with 22% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasted three times. (AG)
With structure and fruit working well together, this ripe wine has good potential. It is still developing, with firm wood flavors as well as attractive acidity. Give it time and drink from 2019. The Philippe Starck-designed winery went into production in 2015; it's owned by developer Groupe Pichet. (RV)
On the softer side, with friendly plum and cherry compote flavors, backed by light tobacco and anise hints. Just a touch of briar gives the finish some energy. Drink now through 2018. (JM, Web-2016)