2015 Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1253150 97 points James Suckling

 Very polished and poised with an immensely powerful core of tannin that drives incredible length on the palate. Fruits are deep in the dark-berry spectrum, encapsulating a terrific sense of freshness through the finish. Great wine. Try from 2024.  (2/2018)

96 points Decanter

 I loved this at en primeur, and again it is fully delivering on its promise. It has a high proportion of Cabernet Franc for a Pessac Leognan wine, which can make it a bit austere early on, but it has now had two years to fatten up. Layers of chocolate enrobed tannins and dark bilberry and cassis fruits make this a classically-styled wine, still taut but not so austere. Great wine with long ageing potential. (JA)  (3/2018)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2015 is an interesting blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Sauvignon that saw a fair amount of whole clusters in the fermentation and 90% of the blend brought up in barrel and the rest in amphoras. Its deep purple color is followed by a beautiful perfumed of ripe currant and plums fruits, chocolate, ground herbs, and damp earth. With full-bodied richness, terrific ripeness, building tannin, and an underlying sense of elegance and purity that only grows with time in the glass, it needs 4-5 years of cellaring but is going to cruise in the cellar for 3-4 decades.  (11/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Dense and broad, with warm dark plum, fig and blackberry confiture flavors rolling over one another, backed by a broad swath of tar and roasted apple wood. This is packed with serious grip, featuring bramble, licorice snap and intense sweet tobacco notes on the back end, all of which combine with the fruit for a powerfully rendered finish. Distinct and impressive. Best from 2025 through 2040. (JM)  (3/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a blend of 44% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 24 months in 80% new and 20% one-year-old oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has pronounced notes of crushed black and red currants, warm blackberries and black pepper with touches of cedar chest, pencil lead and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, very fine and with plenty of black and red fruit layers, it has a plush backbone and seamless acid, finishing earthy. (LPB) 94+  (2/2018)

K&L Notes

94 points Neal Martin: "The 2015 Les Carmes Haut-Brion has a beautiful bouquet with layers of red cherry, raspberry and cedar, a touch of cassis that emerges with time. This is a very sophisticated bouquet. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, wonderful structure and focus. This is precise but full of personality, the Cabernet Franc very expressive on the bell pepper-tinged finish. This is a very impressive Les Carmes Haut Brion with the substance to merit long-term cellaring (if you wish). This is definitely one to watch. Anticipated maturity: 2020 - 2045." (02/2018)

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Price: $74.99

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Staff Image By: Philip Bohorfoush | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/2/2016 | Send Email
**Don’t Miss** Very elegant, fresh, and balanced with complex notes of tobacco leaf, wild flowers, black plums and brambly dark berries. The high percentage of Cabernet Franc contributes complexity and finesse and the whole cluster fermentation adds elegant floral aromatics. Major investments have been made in the vineyard, cellars, and winemaking facilities since the Groupe Pichet purchased the Chateau in 2010. The fruit is fleshing out while maintaining its unique signature and complexity. Les Carmes Haut-Brion is reaching its potential and on the rise.

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.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- 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.