• Domaine: Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion
• Appellation: Pessac-Léognan
• Classification: Grand Vin de Graves, Bordeaux
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
This is one of the most unique château in Bordeaux today. The vineyard is situated inside the boundary of the city of Bordeaux. It used to be part of Château Haut-Brion, until the grand Château's then owner deeded the property to the Carmelites. During the French Revolution, the church was stripped of the property which was 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.)
According to the estate: "The atypical blend of grape varieties (40% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot) is yet another factor in what makes the estate so special."
"The Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2014 is a blend of 54% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon from vines that are being converted to organic, undergoing a 30-day cuvaison with 15% to 40% whole clusters. Around 74% of the crop is matured in 80% new oak, 16% in 1,200-liter oak foudres and the remainder in 1-year old oak. Winemaker Guillaume Pouthier (ex-Chapoutier) has fashioned a bold and opulent bouquet with macerated black cherries and boysenberry jam. But it does not really 'sing' of "Pessac-Léognan", not at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with dry tannin on the entry, but then there is a wave of ripe, black, grainy fruit infused with graphite and cedar and it finishes in a bravura fashion with a seam of coconut Originting from the oak. I would want to just check how the oak integrates with time by bottling and it may merit a higher score then. It's gonna need a top wine to match the architectural ambitions of its Philippe Starck-designed winery - this is certainly going in the right direction." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/29/2015, Issue 218), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2018-2032