Château Larrivet Haut-Brion
Address: 33850 Léognan
Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 64 75 51
Very attractive whites and reds here at Château Larrivet Haut-Brion. The property has been in the hands of the Gervoson family since 1987.
Vineyard/Terroir: 72.5 hectares planted on gravel soil. Red varieties comprise 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc for the reds and 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon for the white varieties. Grapes hand picked.
Winemaking/Elévage: The red wine spends 14-18 months in oak [40% new] and the white wine is fermented in 100% new oak barrels and then aged for eleven months.
- 2015 Pale straw; mineral; spearmint; pear drop notes; tight palate with depth; will fill out. Like the balance here in the white. [80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sémillon, 100% new oak ferments – some in 225 litre, some 500 ltr]. Tasted UGCB 7/6/16. Drink 2020-2025. 89-91+
- 2014 Bright silver/gold; little guava and wet wool; some candy and pear drop notes; full palate with texture [little oily] and weight alongside some honey. Alcohol on the finish. [80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sémillon, 14.6% alc]. Drink 2017-2024. Tasted UGCB 1 April, 2015. 90-92
- 2013 Palest grey/silver; attractive nose – some peach, melon and pear drop notes; delicate entry with some oak influence; quite crisp and elegant on the palate. Good length. Attractive white as ever. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2015-2023. 90-91+
- 2012 Pale straw; attractive aromatics; clean and pretty with nicely integrated oak and fruit tones; palate attractive with some weight and body; very attractive, modern whites here and this is a delicious 2012. Drink now – 2022. 91+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Pale straw; attractive wine; grapefruit; citrus tones; some ginger and spice; feels full; depth here; lots of spicy fruit characters on the palate with depth. Very attractive as usual. Very good in a fruity, elegant way but with power under the bonnet. 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sémillon 91-93 Tasted Monday April 8, 2013 at Chateau Olivier’s Pessac-Leognan tasting
- 2011 Pale straw; more colour than some; full nose with waxy notes and citrus tones; pretty big on the palate; quite open if a little lose on the finish and lacks some of the zap of the others. Early maturing I’d expect. Not as refreshing as the primeur samples eighteen months back but full of flavour nevertheless. Drink now-2019. 89 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Pale, grey gold; oak influence and some spicy, grapefruit characters; lees; full bodied spicy grapefruit and citrus characters, green apples and real zip; will develop well. Lots of race and bite. Nice length. [90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Sémillon] 90-92+
- 2010 Very pale straw; some floral tones; nice oak handling; pretty; racy palate with real elegance and intensity; feels very fine. Flinty finish. Elegant and intense. 91+ [Earlier] Pale gold; waxy, some oak here; some butter too; feels fresh with citrus and grapefruit notes; waxy palate, nicely done; some apricot notes; density here, very attractive and ripe. Good wine. Attractive and excellent. 91-93/100 [90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon, 100% new oak fermented, batonage and will have 11 months on lees 14.2 alc but more acid than 2009] Tasted 6 April 2011 UGC.
- 2009 Pale straw; nice lift; some oak; cashew; grapefruit, cashew and melon notes; tight palate but lots of depth here; oaky palate but fruit here too. Strong and full white wine. Excellent. Should develop well 91+/100 [Earlier] Quite clear, nice toasty barrique note; some race; palate sweet and ripe; toasty and attractive will round out. Very good. 90+/100 [65% Sauvignon, 35% Semillon] Tasted 31st March 2010 UGC primeurs tasting.
- 2008 Pale straw, sturdy nose with some wax and freshness; leads to a lively palate with grass and gooseberry notes. Lots of refreshing zip on the palate. Impressive. 90+/100 UGC Oct ‘10
- 2015 Deep colour; ripe cassis notes; unctuously styled aromatics; coffee and mocha notes too; quite chewy palate which needs to settle but there is plenty of style and promise here. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 13.8% alc]. Tasted UGCB 7/4/16. Drink 2022-2030. 90-92+
- 2014 Mid depth; some purple at edge; ripe fruits; some sublimated cassis notes; ripe cherry and strawberry fruits and stalky blackcurrant; ripe; some extract and chew; should settle well; grip here; plenty of matter and chew. [53% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc 13.5% alc, TA 3.75]. Drink 2010-2028. Tasted 1 April, 2015 UGC. 87-89+
- 2013 Deep at core, earthy purple at edge; some oak toast and jam notes; quite lifted; very toasty and sweet with ripe red fruits and jam notes; lifted and spicy; quite chewy and extracted on the finish. Hopefully will settle, but a rather lifted, extracted style it seems. Grand vin represents just 43% of the crop. [56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2018-2023. 86-88
- 2012 Deepish; quite saturated look; ripe and juicy aromatics; quite forward ; spicy plum and black fruits; full palate which indicates the richness of the Merlot in this vintage; Cabernet cooler but this works well. Spicy finish. Drink now-2025. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep central core; glossy look; feels fresh and quite deep and fat too; lots of fruit, lashings here; some tannins and astringency also [the mix of the lush Merlot fruit with the fresher Cab]. Very chewy finish. This should pull through to be a pretty good effort. 56% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon 14.6% alc 86-88. Tasted Wednesday April 10, 2013 at UGC
- 2011 Mid depth; glossy; earthy blackcurrant tones that verge towards the faintly bretty – though this might be the vintage/terroir; soft-ish palate with that feral blackcurrant note again [tasted twice]. Like to see this down the track. Drink 2015-2022. 86? UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep at centre; redcurrants and red fruits and lift [almost a bit new world]; some leaf and tobacco too; almost New Zealand leafy red here; blackcurrants and a whiff of vegetal; lots of tannin – very dry and extracted palate. Definitely a vintage for the whites here. 85-87
- 2010 Deep and dense looking; some red fruits, some liquorice and thickness to the nose; red fruits on the palate, ripeness and chew; thick again. Some swan wood notes; intense and long. Grippy and saturated in fruit at the same time. Needs to meld but promising. 90+ [Earlier] Very deep, saturated colour; real strength and intensity; blackcurrants and some smoke; feels pretty good; minerally; plush on the palate lots of flesh; some violets and perfume; very good. Really sweet but with grip and quite floral. Creamy and attractive. 90-92+/100 [55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.6 alc] Tasted 6 April 2011 UGC
- 2009 Mid depth; ripe earthy, quite deep; ripe blackcurrants and sappy notes; fruit and some rose perfume here too; good length and density too. Very good effort. 91+/100 [Earlier] Black at centre, arterial; ripe fruit nose, some figs, molasses, quite ripe, but monolithic; palate quite fruity with violets and lots of extract and tannin. Big, briary, blackcurrant wine. Concentrated but tannins on the drying side. May prove better once settles down. [later] Very ripe nose, briary fruit, open; good palate, clean and perfumed, chewy. 88+/100 Tasted 31st March 2010 UGC primeurs tasting.