Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2017
• Domaine: Château Haut-Brion
• Appellation: Pessac-Léognan
• Classification: Second Wine, 1er Cru, Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
"The 2017 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.3% Cabernet Franc and 1.7% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with aromas of red and black plums, black cherries and cinnamon over dried herbs, underbrush and tobacco nuances. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, with lovely red fruit and an herbal lift on the finish.
At Château Haut-Brion and neighboring La Mission Haut-Brion, only about one hectare out of around 80 hectares of vineyards was damaged by frost in 2017. It seemed that in the areas where there was a little wind, there was no frost. Bud break was on March 13—not so early for this warm little pocket of vineyards close to the city—but the evolution of the vines was certainly faster than usual for the rest of the spring. It was a very dry, warm spring with even flowering. At the end of June, there was some rain to quench the parched vines, then July was a little cooler, according the Jean-Philippe Delmas. By mid-September, after the whites had already come in, the rains became an issue. The Merlot was almost all in before the rain, but the Cabernet Franc was affected and not much was used this year. Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested after the rains. Overall yields averaged-out at a very respectable 49.6 hectoliters per hectare. The final blends have been completed and are in barrel.
While the reds are incredibly impressive at both properties in 2017, I have to confess that I was completely blown-away by the caliber of the whites. WOW! Possessing at once electric intensity and yet bags of tightly-wound layers just waiting to be expressed over many years of cellaring, this is a truly spectacular vintage for the dry whites at both estates." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, Ratings: 89-91
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