2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1093920 95 points James Suckling

 What a nose. You see the chocolate, orange peel, sweet tobacco. Goes to milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and round tannin structure. Creamy texture. Like the great 1995. Sweet and beautiful.  (5/2012)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The second wine of Haut-Brion, the 2009 Le Clarence Haut-Brion checks in as 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Offering a classic bouquet of blackcurrants, scorched earth, roasted herbs and earthy, gravely nuances, this beauty is broad, expansive and full-bodied on the palate, with ample depth, density, and structure. There’s no harm drinking bottles today, yet it has two decades of longevity ahead of it as well.  (12/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The second wine, the 2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, is almost as large a cuvée as the grand vin. This 7,000-case cuvée is a blend of 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest small quantities of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Once again the burning ember/scorched earth characteristic that often comes from Haut-Brion is found in the second wine, along with more kirsch and cassis, fewer nuances and less complexity than its bigger sibling. The wine is full-bodied with the minerality offered by this terroir as well as plenty of sweet tannins. This is the finest second wine Haut-Brion has produced since the astonishing 1989 Bahans-Haut-Brion. Enjoy it over the next two decades. (RP)  (2/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 This delivers the textbook profile of the appellation and vintage, with dense but mouthwatering tar, cassis, blackberry, bay leaf and dark cocoa notes all melded together and driving through the grippy finish. Approachable, but better with some time. Best from 2013 through 2023. (JM)  (3/2012)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 A rich wine, with soft, juicy tannins, some spice, the tannins dry at the center. Good structure, touch of wood. (RV)  (3/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 Tasted blind. Light nose. Ripe, fresh fruit. Intense and with good concentration on the palate but a bit aggressive and the opposite of mellow. Long, though, and youthful. 17/20 points. (JR)  (2/2019)

K&L Notes

*+ Jeff: Black fruits and peppery spice. Huge! Full-bodied and concentrated. Fine tannins.


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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.