2013 Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1159010 91-93 points 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)  (8/2014)

92 points James Suckling

 Aromas of blackberry, licorice and tar. Full body, firm and chewy tannins. Structured and very pretty. Structured. Excellent. Well done. Better in 2018.  (2/2016)

89-92 points Vinous

 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)  (4/2014)

Wine Enthusiast

 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)  (3/2016)

Wine Spectator

 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)

K&L Notes


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Staff Image By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
This wine comes from a small, walled-in property situated a stone's throw from Haut Brion. A super small producer, these guys make great wine. Tons of cherry fruit nicely mingled against milk chocolate, the wine is very sexy. An immense wine.
Top Value!

Additional Information:


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.


- 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.


- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:


- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.