Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

Fine Wine Review site

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion


Address: 20, rue des Carmes, 33000 Bordeaux

Administrative offices: 20-24, avenue de Canteranne, 33600 Pessac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 93 23 40



A tiny estate in close proximity to Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion which shares a similar terroir, Les Carmes Haut-Brion has an excellent reputation. 2009 and 2010 look very strong here.

Vineyard/Terroir: 4.6 hectares split between white and red on large Guntz gravel also with sand and clay. Planted with 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking/Elévage: Fermentation in stainless steel vats followed by malolactic fermentation in barrel, 50% new. Followed by a further 18 months ageing in barrel.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep and saturated colour; ripe and lifted aromatics; some cassis and blackcurrant jam notes; layered and forward; sweet fruit on the palate; ripe; plenty of material and texture here; some jam too [but in an attractive way]; little chewy on the finish but should settle well after ageing. [44% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 80% new oak, 14% alc, pH 3.7]. Tasted UGCB 7/4/16. Drink 2020-2028. 90-91+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; earthy red at edge; deep at centre; fruitcake spices; plum pudding tones; ripe; intense and grippy on the palate; lively acids; vigorous and lively with sappy finish. Bit of chew currently. [53% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted 1 April, 2015. 87-89
  • 2013 Deep arterial colour, tight to the rim; meaty; quite a seam of smoky, cassis fruit; glossy quality and hint of earth and spice; quite a lot of extract in the middle but it seems in balance. Needs to settle a bit. [60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot]. Tasted April 2014. Drink 2017-2025. 86-88
  • 2012 Deeply coloured; quite rich and plush with spices and nice lift; complexity; vigorous palate with plummy tones from the Merlot and Cabernet giving tannin and acid and sap. Interesting combination. Drink now – 2025. 90+ Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; dense centre; feels deep; black fruits on the palate with oak; good material here; some dryness at the back; tannins a bit chewy. Tannic finish. 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon 86-88 UGC April 2013
  • 2011 Deep and saturated looking; some violet tones and strawberry/red fruit lift; palate quite high toned and a little boney but there is fruit; should fill out; grippy and chewy on the finish. Acid, in this case, refreshing rather than puckering. 2016-2021. 86+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and concentrated; purple edge; some briary and rose petal notes; some jam and earth; not un attractive; some polish and poise; lots of red fruits and blackcurrant cassis but lots of spices; lots of acid and tannin too. Little Madiran like. Chewy and dense but with enough fruit. Should age well and a good effort for the vintage down here but maybe there will always have chunkiness to the tannin. 88-90+
  • 2010 Mid depth; nice layers of fruit on the nose; plush; Cabernet Franc influenced [45% Cab Franc, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon]; similar flavours on the palate; plush and attractive; some chew and acid but overall attractive stuff. Small 11 ha estate made with Burgundian techniques – whole berry ferments and pigeage. These techniques influence the wine. Plush and attractive. 91+  [Earlier] Deep and dense; some freshness, little dumb, sweetness later, brooding and deep; sweet ripe fruit and tannin, extracted but there is fruit; maybe a little pushed but finishes better than you’d imagine; will it come together? 90-92?/100 Tasted 6 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Mid red; ripe red fruits; stalky blackcurrant fruit and cassis; some structure here but with depth. 88-90/100 [Earlier] Mid red, black; some pretty qualities at the edge of nose; red fruits; palate sweet and ripe; quite fresh; tannins hardish and dry. Chewy. Needs to settle. [Later] Mid red,black; some roses on the nose; quite pretty; palate sweet but then tannins, strawberry fruit here but overwhelmed by tannins at present. Very tannic and dry. Needs to settle, very awkward at present. 86?/100. Tasted 31st March 2010.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow Us