Les Carmes Haut Brion 2020

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Tasting Notes and Scores

95-97+

Wine Advocate

Drink Date
2027 - 2057

Reviewed by - Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion issues forth a beguiling array of savory scents—black olives, charcuterie, bouquet garni and Sichuan pepper—over a core of bright redcurrant jelly, black cherries and cassis scents, plus fragrant hints of rose petals and preserved mandarin peel. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing and elegantly styled yet with a rock-solid backbone of firm, finely grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and perfumed. This is a stunning expression of the vintage that should be long lived and age with fantastic grace.

94-96

Neal Martin

The 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion was picked at 38hl/ha and matured in 80% new oak, 11% foudres and the remainder in clay amphorae. It has an intense bouquet of blackberry and wild strawberry, plus some light torrefactory scents, undergrowth and black pepper, all delineated and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with beautifully defined black fruit and delicate touches of mint, bell pepper and cracked black pepper. Though it shares the same surname, it is interesting to see how, stylistically, it is cut from a totally different cloth than Haut-Brion and La Mission, which each possess their own distinct attributes. Quite thickly textured and weighty on the finish with a long, spicy aftertaste, this is a serious Les Carmes Haut-Brion with a very long future ahead.

vinous.com

93-94

Michael Schuster

(40% CF, 34% CS, 26% M; 38hl/ha; 13.65% ABV; 80% new)
Dense, sweet, florally fragrant, very lightly minerally; full, fresh, finely but firmly tannic; long and compact, both juicy and linear, pure, transparent-yet-dense, with a succulent, brisk ripe red and black fruit, very long across the palate, effortless, finely defined and tightened by its acidity and tannin; there is a wonderful freshness and vitality here, alongside a very gentle defining texture, and then gorgeous length, particularly perfumed in its persistence. Gorgeous wine, understated but very complete. So fine-textured, it will be accessible fairly early, but keep and develop beautifully, too. 2028–50+.

97-98

James Suckling

Exotic fruit aromas of blackberry, blueberry, peach and orange peel. It’s full-bodied with a vertical flow of layered, chewy tannins that are integrated and intense. Extremely polished and focused. Crushed stone to the fruit in the aftertaste. Some bark and forest flowers, too. Great potential.

95-97+

Antonio Galloni

The 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is dazzling, but it is also a wine of reserve and understatement. I image it will be some years, at the very least, be fore the 2020 is ready to show all it has to offer. Today, it is not particularly expressive. The aromatics, which are usually so penetrating are quite shy, although the significant presence of Cabernet Franc that distinguishes this wine comes through in its energy and sense of drive. I can't wait to taste the 2020 from bottle, and won't be at all surprised if it turns out even better than this note suggests.

vinous.com

96-98

Jeff Leve

Garnet in color, the wine opens with tobacco leaf, cigar box, thyme, herbs, flowers and red berries. Medium/full-bodied, vibrant, fresh and focused on its purity of fruit and elegance, this sublime wine is silky, sweet and sensuous. This finish is long and refined, with sweet, ripe cherries, dark cocoa, spice, herbs and cigar wrapper with a cool touch of salt and crushed rock in the endnotes. The wine was made using 55% whole bunch clusters during fermentation. From a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot, 13.7% ABV. The wine is aging in 80% new, French oak which is already close to fully integrated. 96-98

96-98

Jeb Dunnuck

On another level, the flagship 2020 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is one heck of a dense, backward, concentrated wine that’s going to require bottle age. Coming in with the same technical analysis (acidity and alcohol) as the 2018, this full-bodied beauty offers a thrilling nose of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, charcoal, and gravelly earth. Full-bodied on the palate, with a terrific mid-palate and wonderful purity, it holds things close to its vest yet has flawless balance, impeccable purity, and just a great, lengthy finish. Nevertheless, this is one big bruiser of a wine that’s going to demand bottle age. Do your best to hide bottles for 7-8 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following three to four decades.