Wine Words & Video Tape

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Château La Tour Carnet


Address: 33112 Saint-Laurent du Médoc

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 30 90



This was an under-performing fifth growth estate that has been turbocharged by Bernard Magrez, the wealthy owner of Château Pape Clément amongst many others. Château La Tour Carnet now produces big, rich, lush extracted wines if the 2009 & 2010 are anything to go by. Other vintages like 2008 and 2006 look to be developing well and offer good value. Situated just outside the St Julien appellation near the village of St Laurent, La Tour Carnet neighbours Château de Camensac and Château Belgrave further towards St Julien. It’s a very forward and worked style here but it does seem to settle well. 

Vineyard/Terrior: South and south-west facing slopes on clay with a limestone component covered with Guntz gravel, known as the La Tour Carnet knoll. Vineyard planted with 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Hand picked and sorted by hand.

Winemaking/Elévage: Aged for 18-20 months in oak, 70% new and 30% one year old.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep and saturated looking; ripe and rich; sexy and open Merlot on the nose; hedonistically styled to use a Parkerism; full and rich; seductive definitely; some freshness and still has life. Lush. [60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2030. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 91-93
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; dark at centre; fresh and blackcurrant tones; cool and attractive; nice fruit and complete; sense of modesty and proportion; supple; nice palate; good purity; attractive and balanced; oak not overdone but well integrated; sense of composure. Very good effort. Matter on the end. 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot. 40% new oak. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted UGCB 31 March, 2015. 90-91+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated looking; toasty oak; sour cherry and plum notes; lots of fruit on the palate; pretty chewy and gutsy but should settle. Bold and extracted but should add up well if in a rather chunky style. [60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted UGCB April 2014. 86-87+
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; tight to rim; quite deep and layered wine on the nose; ripe fruit; ripe and lots of fruit on the palate; extract here and pretty thick. 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 88-90+ 2015-2025
  • 2011 Mid depth; ripe and full aromatics; plump and spicy; attractive; full of fruit with depth and chew. Not overdone and a good effort. Drink 2015-2026 88 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and arterial, very Magrez; red, ripe lifted character; jammy strawberry note – very overt; palate a little worked and feels chewy but all there so the wine will be ok. Not as fine as La Lagune or as simply handled. Little green streak somewhere in there. Should be goodish though, if you like the style. Tasted UGC. 86-88 2017-2025
  • 2010 Deep and dark; saturated at the core; meaty, saturated nose with lift; lots of extract here and obvious density; saturated palate, sweetness but nice in this vintage; some spice but lots of depth and chew. Not over-extracted  ultimately but well balanced. Very good effort. 92+/100 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; sweet and ripe with lashings of oak; too much influence really; good density and oaky [again] palate; blackcurrants, oak resin; but also very aggressive tannins. Should settle but verging on the over-extracted in this vintage so verdict out. 86-88?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and dense; thick, liquorice, smoke and tar along with blackcurrants; ripe fruit but lots of extraction on the palate; too much; lots of extract and material but feel it’s been obliterated by the winemaking; Very big and awkward at present. Will it come good? Hope so. 86-87?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; dense; jam and lots of red fruits in a super-ripe style; feels quite late picked; ripe and thick on the palate; strawberry and molasses; chewy and dense. Good length and very extracted. Very Magrez. 90+/100 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; dense; jam and lots of red fruits in a super-ripe style; feels quite late picked; ripe and thick on the palate; strawberry and molasses; chewy and dense. Good length and very extracted. Very Magrez. 90+/100 [Earlier] Deep colour, inky; sweet attractive nose; nice oak; seductive and some substance beneath. This could be a great buy. Quite precocious. Intense, serious palate with grip. Very good. Lots of tannin and extract but very good finish. Great winemaking revival here under Bernard Magrez. Could be a real hit. 92+/100 Tasted 30th March ’10 UGC Primeur tastings. Drink 2014-2025
  • 2008 Mid depth; typically lush, ripe nose from LTC; full of blackcurrant fruit, plum and spice; like Belgrave with the volume turned up; nice mouthful with lots of attractiuve fruit and material. Attractive wine. 90+ [Earlier] Quite deep at the edge; purple hue; real life here on the nose; fruit first, strawberry and earth then some oak resin but intense and well integrated; palate quite dense but has life, strawberry and red fruits here along with tannin and acid. Real grip and chew with tannin. Good length. Very good effort from this redeveloped estate. 88+/100 Drink now-2020
  • 2007 Deep core, saturated centre with legs in the glass; Magrez red fruits, quite full and very ripe styled. Resin and oak; quite satin-y palate with red fruits though maybe has a little too much extraction. Chewy. Not bad effort. Some savoury notes on the finish; charred earth and coffee. 86/100 Drink now-2017
  • 2006 Typically deep and saturated, super ripe feel here – almost as if we’re in Pomerol, Merlot dominant blend? Certainly intense [would be good with steak], very ripe strawberry note too; lots of red fruits and oak resin; tannins feel a bit dry, feels like the fruit isn’t quite enough here, a fraction over extracted? 86-88?/100 Now-2020

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