2014 Château les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2014 Château les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Product: 20148013701
Prices start from £350.00 per case Buying options
2014 Château les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Description

Change continues apace at this estate, which has been under new ownership since 2010, with their new cellar and tasting room opening in summer 2015. Displaying a lighter, more ethereal style, the 2014 has notes of menthol, tobacco and sweet blackcurrants, with violets and floral aromatics. Medium-bodied with a dark, plum-like colour, there is some sour cherry in the mix too. Earthy, mineral and with plenty of acidity, the luscious fruit balances out really nicely alongside the savoury edge. Persistent on the finish, spice and green pepper linger on the palate. The wine is quite powerful and serious, with layers of complexity. The 2014 is a very good effort.

55% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot
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About this WINE

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.

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Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

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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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.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate91/100
Decanter17.25/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate91/100
The 2014 Les Carmes Haut Brion has a very ripe, fig-tinged bouquet with red cherries, orange sorbet and faint tarry scents. This has more bravado than many of its Pessac-Lognan peers. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin. It comes across as more modern in style than its peers, silky smooth with caressing succulent red cherry and blackberry fruit leading to a polished finish. It has very good body and density, though I find much more complexity on the 2015. I remarked that I wanted to see how well the oak integrates with this Les Carmes Haut-Brion and at this early stage, I wait to be totally convinced that all the constituent parts are singing from the same hymn sheet.
Neal Martin - 31/03/2017 Read more
Decanter17.25/100
Good lift, like the structure of this wine, the tannins are supple but firm, this is a medium drinker but with ambition, can feel the well fleshed out dark fruits, a real spiciness here, bitter chocolate, high acidity, a touch austere again, lean but with impact. Important investment going on at this estate currently, one to watch.
Jane Anson - decanter.com - Apr 2015 Read more