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Les Carmes Haut Brion 2018 (750ML)

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Left Bank
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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

100 JD / 98 JA / 97 VM / 97 JS / 96+ WA / 95-98 WS / 17.5 JR

#14 Jeb Dunnuck Top 100 2021
#30 Decanter Wines of the Year 2022

Save $10/bottle on Carmes Haut Brion 2018 with every bottle of C Des Carmes Haut Brion 2017 purchased. Savings shown once products added to your cart.

13.5% alcohol

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!-Jeb Dunnuck

An estate I have championed for many years now, and watched as its reputation has grown. It deserves all the plaudits, both for making great wines and also having the courage to stand out for its own distinct personality and winemaking choices. The highest levels of Cabernet Franc on the Left bank, made in this vintage with a full 53% whole bunch fermentation, giving lower alcohols in a hot year, floral edges to the aromatics and a lean, muscular feel to the tannins. Winemaker Guillaume Pouthier ensures this doesn't compromise the intensity and clarity of the fruit flavours, and you'll find tons of blueberry and bilberry fruits that showcase the Cabernet fruits, along with saffon and turmeric spices, liqourice and pencil lead. Give it another few years, but this should be ready to go a little earlier than some in the vintage. IPT95. Harvest September 13 to 28. 3.58ph, 75% new oak barrels 16% large oak casks, 9% amphoras for ageing.  -Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

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.-Antonio Galloni,Vinous Media

The essence of black fruit here, offering blackberry and brambleberry aromas with dried flowers and licorice. Crushed stones and some iodine, as well as nuts. Full-bodied palate that opens and delivers an encompassing mouth feel of fine, creamy tannins. Some whole-berry fermentation. A special wine with elegance and complexity. Try after 2026, but already so in tune. - James Suckling

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.-Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate

This throws off a stream of cassis, cherry preserves and raspberry fruit that is pure and bright, laced with a racy mineral edge through the finish. Stands apart from the pack for its purity and finesse. Really beautiful. - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot. 60% whole-bunch vinification. Aged 24 months in new oak barrel (80%), foudre (10%) and amphora (10%)
Deep crimson hue. Lovely lift to the nose with an almost burgundian red-berry nuance. Palate rich and suave but fresh as well. Big tannic base so plenty of potential. Oak fully integrated. Long, clean finish. Has the solar nuance of the vintage but elegance and complexity as well. --James Lowther MW, Jancis Robinson



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