What a nose. You see the chocolate, orange peel, sweet tobacco. Goes to milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and round tannin structure. Creamy texture. Like the great 1995. Sweet and beautiful.
The second wine of Haut-Brion, the 2009 Le Clarence Haut-Brion checks in as 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Offering a classic bouquet of blackcurrants, scorched earth, roasted herbs and earthy, gravely nuances, this beauty is broad, expansive and full-bodied on the palate, with ample depth, density, and structure. There’s no harm drinking bottles today, yet it has two decades of longevity ahead of it as well.
The second wine, the 2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, is almost as large a cuvée as the grand vin. This 7,000-case cuvée is a blend of 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest small quantities of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Once again the burning ember/scorched earth characteristic that often comes from Haut-Brion is found in the second wine, along with more kirsch and cassis, fewer nuances and less complexity than its bigger sibling. The wine is full-bodied with the minerality offered by this terroir as well as plenty of sweet tannins. This is the finest second wine Haut-Brion has produced since the astonishing 1989 Bahans-Haut-Brion. Enjoy it over the next two decades. (RP)
This delivers the textbook profile of the appellation and vintage, with dense but mouthwatering tar, cassis, blackberry, bay leaf and dark cocoa notes all melded together and driving through the grippy finish. Approachable, but better with some time. Best from 2013 through 2023. (JM)
A rich wine, with soft, juicy tannins, some spice, the tannins dry at the center. Good structure, touch of wood. (RV)
Tasted blind. Light nose. Ripe, fresh fruit. Intense and with good concentration on the palate but a bit aggressive and the opposite of mellow. Long, though, and youthful. 17/20 points. (JR)
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