The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage. Breathtaking in its beauty, the 2016 soars from the glass with stunning aromatic and flavor intensity. Red cherry jam, wild flowers, mint, blood orange and sage are some of many notes that develop. In the glass, the 2016 is a vivid, statuesque, exotic wine that takes over all the senses as it delivers tons of pure pleasure. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2016 for at least a few years, but that will be virtually impossible. The 2016 is a towering masterpiece from Les Carmes Haut-Brion and Technical Director Guillaume Pouthier. (AG)
Terrific ripeness, depth and complexity on offer here. This has a very attractive array of bright, ripe blueberries and cassis with some leafy and earthy notes. The palate has a quite deep, long and vibrant array of perfectly ripe dark plums and blueberries. So good. Best vintage this decade. Try from 2023.
This offers alluring waves of ganache-tinged plum sauce, blackberry reduction and steeped açaí fruit flavors, while tobacco and singed mesquite notes hang in the background. Shows a lovely bramble echo through the finish, with the fruit easily keeping pace. This has range, distinctive mouthfeel and serious length. There's a new player officially in the Pessac game... Best from 2023 through 2038. (JM)
Slowly but surely, Carmes Haut-Brion is moving from being 'an estate to watch' to one that has fully arrived. This gives the appearance of effortless extraction, where the vibrant black fruits seem artfully placed along the palate, fleshed out with liquorice, dark chocolate, graphite and violet notes. This has the highest proportion of Cabernet Franc on the left bank, and it can be austere at en primeur, but in this vintage the fresh fruit reads as juiciness and persistency. I love it, what a stunning wine, and what a testament to the benefits of investing in terroir. Biodynamic farming also, although not certified. Tasted at the château and again with the UGCs. Technical director Guillaume Pouthier used a good amount of whole bunch pressing, over 20%, because he felt the stalks were ripe. (JA)
The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 65% new and 35% one-year-old oak for 22 months. This is one of the largest percentages of Cabernet Franc for this wine this vintage. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it gives notes of kirsch, black raspberries and black plums with touches of cassis, violets, chocolate box and pencil shavings. The palate is medium-bodied, firm, grainy and lively with loads of layers and a long, well-poised finish. (LPB) 95+
Deep crimson. Attractively dusty dark fruit. Fragrant with pure cassis and a cedary mineral quality. Fine-boned and sweet-fruited on the palate. Deep, long and fresh. The tannins are rounded but need time. Already moreish. 17/20 points. (JH)
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