2010 Haut-Bages-Libéral, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)
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.
A balanced young wine, with smoky, blackberry and chewy aromas and flavors. Full and velvety, with a fresh finish.
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.
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.
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.
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.