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Les Carmes Haut Brion 2017 (750ML)

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Left Bank
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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

96 VM / 96 DE / 95 WI94 JS / 94 JD / 93 WS

Wine Advocate Top 100 of 2020

One of the real highlights of the vintage, the 2017 Les Carmes Haut-Brion possesses off the charts aromatic intensity and tremendous depth. An exotic mélange of sweet tobacco, menthol, rose petal, licorice, dried herbs and sweet dark fruit builds in a wine endowed with extraordinary beauty. Energetic and vibrant to the core, Les Carmes Haut-Brion was magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. Don't miss it.- Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

Brilliant wine that continues to impress three years on from the En Primeur tasting, with a creamy but restrained texture, precise black fruits with a spicy undertow. By this point Carmes had the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc on the Left Bank, and had really started to establish its own identity. It was also using a full 40% whole bunch winemaking, choosing only the ripest stems to include in the fermentation tanks, adding a twist of salinity on the finish and ensuring a dip of around 1% in potential alcohol levels at picking (this is a hot site close to the city centre). Owned by Patrice Pichet since 2011, with Guillaume Pouthier joining as director in 2012 - whose experience in the Rhône meant he was not afraid to use stems in winemaking, something traditionally shunned in Bordeaux. This wine shows the success of that approach, giving personality and poise. Needs another few years for the austerity to soften further. - Jane Anson, Decanter

Les Carmes Haut Brion 2017 has a medium to deep garnet-purple color. It is a little closed to start, soon unfurling to offer notes of kirsch, redcurrants, and black raspberries, plus touches of rose oil, dried sage, and crushed rocks. Light to medium-bodied, the palate is tightly wound and energetic with bags of bright, crunchy red fruits and fine-grained tannins to support it, finishing long and lifted. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Independent

Aromas of graphite and spiced wood here. The fruit is nicely ripe, in the redder end of the berry spectrum. The palate has good depth and weight. Quite fine, fresh tannins carry plenty of red-plum flavor. Drink or hold. - James Suckling

Offering an Haut-Brion-like level of purity and precision, the 2017 Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion (41% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon) sports a vivid purple color as well as perfumed notes of blueberries, blackberries, unsmoked tobacco, crushed violets, and spring flowers. It’s not a blockbuster in the mold of the 2015 or 2016 (or 2018), but it has medium to full body, a beautiful elegance and purity, notable minerality, and an exceptional finish. It opens up with time in the glass, and I was able to follow a bottle for 3 days without it ever showing a hint of oxidation. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 30 years or more. Guillaume Pouthier and consultant Stephane Derenoncourt have unquestionably raised the quality from this estate, and this 2017 ranks with the gems of Pessac as well as all of Bordeaux. - Jeb Dunnuck

A sanguine thread weaves around the core of steeped red and black currant fruit, with singed mesquite, iron and briar notes filling in along the way. The sanguine element leaves a mouthwatering echo at the end. A distinctive and alluring expression of the appellation. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2022 through 2036. 3,333 cases made. - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

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