Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2015

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2015

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• Domaine: Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion
• A.O.C.: Pessac-Léognan
• Classification: Grand Vin de Graves, Bordeaux

This is one of the most unique château in Bordeaux today.  The vineyard is situated inside the boundary of the city of Bordeaux.  The urban microclimate around it protects the vines against frost and hail that have plagued Bordeaux in recent years.  Les Carmes Haut-Brion used to be part of Château Haut-Brion, until the grand chateau's then owner deeded the property to the Carmelites to provide permanent income to his church.  The monks grew vines and made wine here until the French Revolution when the church was stripped of the property which was subsequently resold to new owners of the bourgeoise class. Only Les Carmes in the name still reminds one of its once church ownership.  (Below, Philippe Starck designed new cellar for Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion.) 

Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion cellar

Tasting Notes

"The 2015 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a blend of 44% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 24 months in 80% new and 20% one-year-old oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has pronounced notes of crushed black and red currants, warm blackberries and black pepper with touches of cedar chest, pencil lead and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, very fine and with plenty of black and red fruit layers, it has a plush backbone and seamless acid, finishing earthy." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2/21/2018, Interim Issue), Rating: 94+, Drink from: 2021-2039 

"The 2015 Les Carmes Haut Brion includes around 45% whole cluster fruit and it went through a four-week ferment with just one pump-over and one pigeage, using a bladder inside the tank to submerge the cap (like an infusion tea). It is aged 10% in clay amphora and 90% in oak barrels, which includes 20% in Stockinger barrels, around 60% new wood. The alcohol degree is 14% and a pH of 3.7. "This vintage is very sensual because of the softness of tannin. I think it is very typical of Pessac," ex-Chapoutier winemaker Guillaume Pouthier told me. The nascent wine is inky purple in color. The nose is very closed and demands a lot of coaxing from the glass, reluctantly giving up black cherries, cassis and iodine scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, extremely pure, hints of black olive and Japanese nori infusing the black fruit. It has a very fine structure with good grip on the finish. The Cabernet Franc comes through strongly here, defining the start and finish and in some ways, it needs the Merlot to become more expressive to "fill in the gaps." Of course, that is precisely what élevage is for. This is an intriguing Pessac-Léognan that reminds me of Pomerol (Lafleur perhaps?). Difficult to judge now, I look forward to retasting this once in bottle, because it may well deserve a higher score." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 92-94, Drink: 2025-2050

 


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