2009 Ch. les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan

2009 Ch. les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion | Code: 952232 | 2009 | France > Bordeaux > Pessac-Leognan | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol



Bottle 12 x 75cl




Bottle 12 x 75cl



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Scores and Reviews











DECANTER - Dense purple red, concentrated and rather earthy blackcurrant nose, good broad fruit with warmth and vigour, natural tannins and acidity need to blend in with the fleshy charm and depth.
Steven Spurrier - Decanter - April 2010

JANCIS - Some race and savour. Glossy fruit and real succulence. Pretty dry on the finish but not exaggeratedly drying. One can see Graves here thank goodness! Intense and reasonably complex and ambitious for the long term.
Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - April 2010

PARKER - Beautiful, Burgundian-like aromas of burning embers, roasted Provencal herbs, black currants and sweet cherries and raspberries emerge from this medium-bodied, elegant 2009 Pessac-Leognan. Medium to full-bodied and seductive with sweet tannins as well as a surprisingly evolved, precocious personality (even for a 2009), it will offer delicious drinking over the next 15+ years. This is another wine in which I noticed subtle bottle variation.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Feb 2012

WS - This is gorgeous, with blackberry and licorice and spice. Full and silky-textured tannins turn chewy, but finishes with class. Best ever? So impressive.
James Suckling - Wine Spectator - April 2010

The Story

Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion


Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion

A little-known neighbour of châteaux Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion in the Pessac-Léognan region of Bordeaux, Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a jewel of a property, positioned on the same bank of gravel (graves) as its more famous namesakes.

The name derives from the friars, known as ";Les Carmes"; who owned the property between the 16th and 18th century.

The vineyards are planted with an unusually small quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), the lion's share going to Merlot (50%) and Cabernet Franc (40%), this is reflected in the style of the wine which is rich in aromatics and has incredible finesse.

The wine spends 18 months in oak barrels, one third of which are new each vintage.


Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.



In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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