Made of 45% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet colored 2010 Les Carmes Haut-Brion gives up notes of baked blackberries, blackcurrants, black raspberries and cedar chest with hints of baking spices, black olives, pencil lead and Marmite toast. Full-bodied, the generously fruited palate has a solid backbone of grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting all that tightly-packed brawn, finishing with great length and purity. Still incredibly youthful, I suspect this wine has a lot more to give in the years to come! 93+pts LPB
The wine is less complex than a Chevalier, but displays plenty of raspberries, red currants and sweet cherries as well as hints of vanilla, smoke and Christmas fruitcake. The blend is 45% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, tipping the scales at 14.5% natural alcohol. Always elegant, stylish and medium-bodied, it should drink best between 2015 and 2030.
Wines from this small, jewel-like estate, not far from Haut-Brion, are always made in a somewhat finesse style, similar to those of the great estate to the south of this Pessac property, Domaine de Chevalier. Les Carmes Haut-Brion may have the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc of any well-known wine from the Pessac-Leognan region.
-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #205 Feb 2013
2010: This attractive, finesse-styled wine exhibits a dark ruby/purple color as well as smoky blue fruits intermixed with a hint of menthol, medium body and an elegant, restrained style. The tannins are noticeable, but they are not terribly intense for a 2010. Give this one 2-3 years in the cellar and drink it over the following 10-15 years.
Tasted at the UGC and at the chateau, the 2010 is a blend of 46% Cabernet Franc, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remainder Merlot, raised in around 40% new oak. This was a difficult wine to ascertain out of barrels despite numerous encounters. Fortunately it is turning out to be a very fine Pessac-Léognan. It has a well-defined nose that is more bashful than the 2009, with scents of blackcurrant, briary, a touch of marmalade and cedar. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, gently grippy tannins on the entry and a structured, fresh, masculine finish that will need several years to unfurl. Delicious. Tasted November 2012.
Tasted on three occasions, a couple of samples suggested a little over-ripeness, although the sample at the UGC was much more controlled on the nose with lifted blackberry, dark cherries, black olive compote and a touch of violet. The palate has good weight on the entry, dense, broody black fruits, less opulent than recent vintages, quite introspective towards the finish but sure to blossom by the time of bottling. Tasted April 2011.
The blueberries, walnut and chocolate character here is impressive. Full and very silky with refined tannins and a silky finish. Very pretty. Wonderful balance like the 2009. Try in 2016.
-www.jamessuckling.com, 'Tasting Report: 2010's Greatness Across The Board in Bordeaux', 17 Feb 2013
Complex red with chocolate, berry, currants and nutmeg as well as other dried spices. Full and velvety with a long, long finish. Best ever from here.
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