Château les Carmes Haut-Brion 2019
Made from 50% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 16% Merlot, with 70% whole-bunch fermentation. It has undergone two years' aging in 90% new oak, and 10% amphorae. Drink 2027-2044
Produced by Château Les Carmes Haut Brion
The core of this property is a five hectare vineyard, the only one with an address in Bordeaux itself, Carmes Haut Brion (although neighbouring Haut Brion and co. in Pessac). The little vineyard of Carmes HB, with a dominance of Cabernet Franc - very rare in the area - is planted at a high density of ten thousand vines per hectare. It was once part of Haut Brion, but was given by its owner to an order of nuns, the 'Carmes Blanc', hence the name.
When it was bought by property developer Patrice Pichet in 2010, the vat room consisted of three huge vats, one for each grape variety. Since then the vineyard has been completely restructured, and a new winery has been built.
Rippling violet and peony waves alongside creamy blueberry and raspberry fruits, this is a gorgeous 2019 that continues a strong run of vintages at the estate. Slate-textured, salt-licked stones, rosemary and saffron-edged, white truffle spice. Takes its time and stretches out through the palate, tingling and enticing. Technical director Guillaume Pouthier has created something here that stands on its own, with complexity and nuance. Give it a full five or six years before opening. 3.59ph. 60% stems, and once again you see the difference it makes not only in nuance and philosophy but also in the actual physical properties of the wine.
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (Feb 2022)