2016 Haut-Bages-Libéral, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1307806 94-95 points James Suckling

 Very chewy and long already with ripe tannins and plenty of fruit suggesting tobacco and blackcurrant character. Long finish. From biodynamic grapes.  (4/2017)

93-95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Known for making firm wines, this year the estate has produced a wine that is also packed with juicy black fruits. Structured and full of fruitiness, it has excellent long-term potential. (RV)  (4/2017)

91-94 points Wine Spectator

 The 2016 Haut-Bages Libéral is gorgeous. Succulent red cherry and plum fruit are pushed forward, with brighter, citrus-driven and chalky notes that add aromatic lift and energy. Silky, supple and inviting, the 2016 is built to deliver considerable pleasure. The 2016 shuts down quickly in the glass, which is probably a very good sign for the wine's potential longevity. I very much like the sense of energy here. (JM, Web-2017)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Haut Bages Liberal has a very focused and much more sumptuous bouquet than in previous years, thankfully without dispensing any of its character. It just seems more confident on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, pretty blackberry and boysenberry fruit laced with a touch of oyster shell, sashaying towards a quite elegant finish with admirable depth. You would not describe this as a potentially exciting Pauillac, but I suspect it will be delicious once in bottle. (NM)  (4/2017)

89-92 points Vinous

 The 2016 Haut-Bages Libéral is gorgeous. Succulent red cherry and plum fruit are pushed forward, with brighter, citrus-driven and chalky notes that add aromatic lift and energy. Silky, supple and inviting, the 2016 is built to deliver considerable pleasure. The 2016 shuts down quickly in the glass, which is probably a very good sign for the wine's potential longevity. I very much like the sense of energy here. (AG)  (4/2017)

91 points Decanter

 This wine shows notes of charcoal, cassis and blackcurrant bud. It is more restrained than some in the appellation, with a well placed structure and a pleasurable future ahead of it. A Villars-Lurton estate in the process of converting to organic and biodynamic farming methods. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot aged in 40% new oak. (JA)  (4/2017)

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Price: $46.99

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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 M├ędoc 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:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.