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2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1299276 99 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Readers looking for the next superstar in Bordeaux need to jump on the bandwagon of Les Carmes Haut-Brion, who have produced one of the wines of the vintage in 2016. The 2016 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion checks in as a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that hit 13.8% natural alcohol and spent 22 months in 65% new French oak. Its deep purple color is followed by a complex bouquet of high-class smoke tobacco, decaying flowers, charcoal, gravelly minerality and loads of sweet black and blue fruit. Possessing full-bodied richness, flawless integration of its acidity, fruit, and ultra-fine tannins, and a blockbuster finish, this is another 2016 that possess both power and elegance. Do your best to hide bottles for 5-7 years and it will keep for 3-4 decades. Don’t miss it. Tasted twice.  (2/2019)

98 points Vinous

 The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage. Breathtaking in its beauty, the 2016 soars from the glass with stunning aromatic and flavor intensity. Red cherry jam, wild flowers, mint, blood orange and sage are some of many notes that develop. In the glass, the 2016 is a vivid, statuesque, exotic wine that takes over all the senses as it delivers tons of pure pleasure. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2016 for at least a few years, but that will be virtually impossible. The 2016 is a towering masterpiece from Les Carmes Haut-Brion and Technical Director Guillaume Pouthier. (AG)  (1/2019)

97 points James Suckling

 Terrific ripeness, depth and complexity on offer here. This has a very attractive array of bright, ripe blueberries and cassis with some leafy and earthy notes. The palate has a quite deep, long and vibrant array of perfectly ripe dark plums and blueberries. So good. Best vintage this decade. Try from 2023.  (2/2019)

96 points Decanter

 With 51% whole-bunch fermentation for the Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this is the highest proportion in this wine. This is just gorgeous, with a beautiful sweetness on the attack from ripe fruit and a touch of smoked caramel. It really rises through the palate, gripped by liquorice, hazelnut, dark chocolate and black cherry fruits that ripple through the palate. I loved this wine En primeur and it is absolutely living up to its billing. It has an IPT of 90, but the tannins are full of life, yielding in just the right places while still confident and keeping everything in line.Great persistency too. 3.49pH. 80% new oak, 10% Stockinger and 10% amphoras. (JA)  (1/2019)

96 points Wine Spectator

 This offers alluring waves of ganache-tinged plum sauce, blackberry reduction and steeped açaí fruit flavors, while tobacco and singed mesquite notes hang in the background. Shows a lovely bramble echo through the finish, with the fruit easily keeping pace. This has range, distinctive mouthfeel and serious length. There's a new player officially in the Pessac game... Best from 2023 through 2038. (JM)  (3/2019)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 65% new and 35% one-year-old oak for 22 months. This vintage represents one of the largest percentages of Cabernet Franc for this wine. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it gives notes of kirsch, black raspberries and black plums with touches of cassis, violets, chocolate box and pencil shavings. The palate is medium-bodied, firm, grainy and lively with loads of layers and a long, well-poised finish. (LPB) 95+  (11/2018)

K&L Notes

96 points Neal Martin for Vinous: "The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion was deeply impressive out of barrel. Now in bottle, does it meet my admittedly high expectations? Yes. Quite deep in color, it delivers the same intense and disarmingly pure bouquet it exhibited during en primeur, offering blackberry, kirsch, fig and pressed iris flowers and wonderful delineation. The palate is medium-bodied, the new oak still prominent but sutured into the fabric of the fruit. There is a discreet sprinkling of cracked black pepper, and the finish is controlled and correct when it might easily have overreached with something more brash. This will age with style, but be warned, it will require several years in the cellar." (01/2019)


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Price: $219.99
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By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/8/2017 | Send Email
This tiny viticultural enclave, consisting of a mere 5 hectares of vineyards, lies fully within the city of Bordeaux, immediately north of its more famous neighbor, Chateau Haut-Brion. The property takes its name from the order of Carmelite nuns who held it for more than two hundred years, from the late 16th century to the time of the French Revolution. With its 19th century chateau and sculptured gardens, there is still a sense of the cloister about the place, a remarkably peaceful oasis in the heart of a bustling metropolis. The holy sisters would likely be greatly startled however by the new Philippe Starck designed winery, which rises like a leviathan from the spring fed stream that bisects the property. The new cellars and winemaking facility are part of a comprehensive program of investment initiated by new owner Patrice Pichet since acquiring the property in 2010. The 2016 Les Carmes Haut Brion is a vindication of his efforts to realize the full potential here. It is a breathtaking expression of the unique terroir of the northern Graves, at once intensely mineral and extraordinarily concentrated. The blend includes an astonishing 41% Cabernet Franc, supported by 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot. Perfectly ripe, with lively acidity and firm, fine tannins. Deeply colored and very aromatic, with a savory/spicy character, very much in keeping with the vintage. A superb effort, not to be missed. This is a property to keep an eye on. Great things are happening here.

By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2017 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
A walled in property that sits within the city of Bordeaux a literally is a stone’s throw away from Haut Brion. An unknown small property that makes fantastic wines. 41% CF, 39%M, 20%CS. Extremely aromatic. Very high proportion of Cabernet Franc in the blend. Ginger ale and red fruit aromas. Very spicy and sweet on the palate. Great depth of flavor and lingering finish. Problems here with 2017 frost. I really love this wine.
Drink from 2020 to 2035

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