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2018 Les Carmes Haut Brion

Colour: Red
Vintage: 2018
Appellation: Pessac Leognan
100 (JD)
One of the four original 1st Growths in the 1855 classification (along with Lafite, Margaux and Latour) Haut Brion has always ranked as one of the most desirable wines in the world. Its story, since 1855, has been quite incredible including a series of disasters that plagued the vineyards during the second half of the 19th century and occupation by German forces during WWII. In fact, during the war, Haut Brion served as a rest home for Luftwaffe pilots. Owned by the Dillon family since 1934, the style of Haut Brion has changed over the years. During the '50s and early '60s the wines were rich, earthy and almost sweet, giving way to a much leaner, simplistic style of claret from 1966 to 1974. Since 1975 we have witnessed a return to the richer more complex style which many people know and love today. Haut Brion is stylistically unique amongst the 1st Growths and has always been very much the connoisseurs choice, often undervalued when compared to its illustrious piers in Pauillac and Margaux. The credit must duly be given the incredible work carried out by Jean Delmas who administered Haut Brion from 1961-2003, producing some of the greatest wines in living memory. His son, Jean-Philippe Delmas, has since picked up the baton and continues to carry on with his father's great work; beginning with the astonishing 2005, Haut Brion have hardly put a foot wrong achieving multiple 100-point scores from across the leading critics.

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BUYING OPTIONS

2018 Les Carmes Haut Brion

100 (JD)
£1,300 6 pack case(s) available

2018 Les Carmes Haut Brion

Size
Cs (12)
Cs (6)
Cs (3)
Loose
Price
Per
Region: Red Bordeaux
100 (JD)
BTL
0
1
0
0
£650
6
 
CONDITION
STATUS
ETA
Our ETA dates are a guide and are subject to change. If you require more information on an ETA time please call UK +44 (0) 20 7269 0703 or alternatively email [email protected]
YOU BUY
Case (6 x 75cl)
CONDITION
Original Wooden Case
STATUS
In-Bond
ETA
Our ETA dates are a guide and are subject to change. If you require more information on an ETA time please call UK +44 (0) 20 7269 0703 or alternatively email [email protected]
In Stock
You buy
£796.07
1 Case(s) Available

2018 Les Carmes Haut Brion

100 (JD)
£1,300 6 pack case(s) available

2018 Les Carmes Haut Brion

Size
Cs (12)
Cs (6)
Cs (3)
Loose
Price
Per
Region: Red Bordeaux
100 (JD)
BTL
0
1
0
0
£650
6
 
CONDITION
STATUS
ETA
Our ETA dates are a guide and are subject to change. If you require more information on an ETA time please call UK +44 (0) 20 7269 0703 or alternatively email [email protected]
YOU BUY
Case (6 x 75cl)
CONDITION
Original Wooden Case
STATUS
In-Bond
ETA
Our ETA dates are a guide and are subject to change. If you require more information on an ETA time please call UK +44 (0) 20 7269 0703 or alternatively email [email protected]
In Stock
You buy
£650.00
1 Case(s) Available

Tasting Notes and Scores

92-93

Bordeaux Index

Quite tight but perfumed nose. Quite big and dense on the palate but with good freshness and lift. A distinctive umami character runs alongside the dark plum and black cherry notes, mingling with some cool mineral tones. Finishes clean and pure. Tannins have a lovely texture. - April 2019

96+

Wine Advocate

The 2018 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is composed of 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot. It was made using 52% whole cluster and has 13.75% alcohol. It was aged in 75% new oak barriques, 16% foudres and 9% amphorae. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a little coaxing before bursting from the glass with vibrant scents blackberry preserves, redcurrant jelly, mulberries and Black Forest cake, leading to an undercurrent of pencil lead, black truffles, cast-iron pan and charcoal with an emerging waft of violets. The elegantly crafted, medium-bodied palate dances with red and black fruits before bursting into earth and mineral sparks. It has a sturdy frame of firm, grainy tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and savory. The stem tannins lend this wine a firmness and textural interest, which should integrate further with another 5-6 years in barrel, allowing the nuances to shine through even more, then you can continue to enjoy its slow evolution for a further 30+ years. LPB

94+

Neal Martin

The 2018 Les Carmes Haut-Brion was always going to be a wine that I would leave for 12–24 hours to monitor its evolution. It has a splendid bouquet of a mixture of blackberry, freshly rolled tobacco, autumn leaves and touches of brine. It is classic in style and showcases the Cabernet Franc element supremely well. The palate is in many ways uncompromising. The Cabernet is in full effect: herbaceous, with bell pepper and bitter cherry, quite tannic, and for the vintage, one of the most austere wines you will find in Bordeaux, let alone Pessac-Léognan. I personally find it to my taste, but it is not a wine for hedonists seeking bundles of juicy fruit. An intellectual Les Carmes for sure, one that leaves you pondering in which direction it will age.

97

James Suckling

This is really exotic with peaches, oranges and blackberries. Full body, lovely purity of fruit and soft and integrated tannins that are barely detectable. Extremely long and persistent. Savory. White pepper and bark with black-tea and charcoal undertones. Superb complexity. 53 per cent whole-cluster fermentation. - jamessuckling.com, April 2019

16.5

Jancis Robinson

Barrel sample. Deepest cherry red. Lifted dark-red fruits, inviting and lively aromas with a hint of crushed stones. Juicy and full of beans. Crunchy fruit, well-defined tannins. Not sure why everyone is making so much fuss about this wine. - Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2019

97

Antonio Galloni

The 2018 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a total knock-out, just as it was from barrel. Soaring in its aromatic intensity, Les Carmes dazzles from the very first taste. Inky red fruits, mocha, new leather, licorice, dried flowers, sage and mint envelop all the senses. Today, the 2018 appears to be slightly closed, but time brings out tons of aromatic energy and nuance. Cabernet Franc plays the leading role, unusual for this part of the region. Franc aromatics and a fair amount of whole cluster savoriness lend energy but also a feeling of richness without weight that is especially appealing. This is a masterpiece from Les Carmes Haut-Brion and Technical Director Guillaume Pouthier.

98

Jeff Leve

Aromatically, this beauty kicks off with an array of just-picked flowers, smoky, dark red and black fruits, licorice, herbs, wet earth, cigar box, forest leaf, and salty, crushed rocks. Deeply colored, concentrated, full-bodied, elegant, soft, refined and pure on the palate, the seamless finish keeps on going with layers of fresh, ripe, sweet, sensuously textured fruits. The wine is a blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot, 13.75% ABV. This has the potential to age and evolve for 2-3 decades with ease.

100

Jeb Dunnuck

The 2018 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a rock star of a wine and is based on a unique blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 29% Merlot that was brought up in 80% new French oak. Offering a deep ruby/purple color as well as a thrilling bouquet of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, chocolate, violets, damp earth, and truffle, it hits the palate with a full-bodied yet almost understated, building style that carries ripe, supple tannins, gorgeous amounts of smoky black fruits, and an endearing, layered, multi-dimensional texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. A dead ringer for a great vintage of Haut-Brion, it is far from unapproachable today yet needs 7-8 years of bottle age for the fireworks to develop and will have 50-years or more of longevity! Hats off to Guillaume Pouthier for a magical, seamless, singular beauty!

98

Decanter

The march of Carmes Haut-Brion continues in 2018. Once again it stands out for a number of reasons: not least because of its high amount of Cabernet Franc, and also because it is made with 53% whole-bunch fermentation - a brave choice by winemaker Guillaume Poutier and one that pays off hugely in terms of balance and lean muscular build. Even without knowing any of the story behind the bottle, you would be hard-pressed to pass this wine by. It has obvious intensity but as you sit with it the softness and approachability of the tannins becomes apparent, helped by the inviting floral edge to the nose, adding peony and violet lift. The black fruits running through the palate are tight but silky and seductive - this has a higher Cab count than usual because the Merlots were more affected by the challenges of the vintage. The palate pulses, switching between richness and delicacy, feeling expertly handled. You get the feeling that you can relax - they've got everything covered! It will inevitably close down in a few years, but until then you could almost go for it with a good carafe. IPT95. Harvested 13-28 September. 3.58pH. Ageing is mostly in large oak casks, 76% new, plus 9% aged in amphorae. - www.decanter.com, Jane Anson, March 2019