Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

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      Les Carmes Haut-Brion is charting a singular course in its upturned silver hull. Its ascent has been rapid. Given the money invested, you could argue that this is no remarkable feat. Yet, it’s the thinking behind it that intrigues me and bolsters the reputation of Pessac-Léognan.
      Neal Martin, Vinous.com

      Originally a part of Château Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion became separate from the main estate during the French Revolution when it was bestowed upon the Carmelite order. In more recent history, the Château's prominence soared under the directorship of Guillaume Pouthier. My visits to this vineyard have been captivating, partly due to Guillaume's warm hospitality and also owing to his innovative winemaking techniques. He fearlessly discarded the traditional Bordeaux winemaking rulebook, bringing a breath of fresh air to the estate. Having previously worked at Michel Chapoutier in the Rhône Valley, Guillaume's approach has been a mini-revolution of its own kind, and it comes as no surprise that, under his guidance, Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion has become one of the most eagerly anticipated releases each year.

      "The 2020 C Des Carmes Haut-Brion is a fabulous second wine...Today I find it irresistibly delicious"
      Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com

      Guillaume is best known for his adoption of whole bunch fermentation, a technique in which grape clusters are introduced into fermentation vessels without prior de-stemming—a departure from the customary practice in Bordeaux. The success of this method hinges on the grapes being exceptionally healthy and fully ripe to prevent the development of vegetal characteristics in the final wine. The mesoclimate of Carmes Haut-Brion, situated in the heart of Bordeaux, ensures optimal grape conditions. Additionally, conducting vinification in small batches allows for precise control over the process. The resulting wine exhibits heightened aromatics, featuring an abundance of red berry characteristics in contrast to the more common blackcurrant flavours typically associated with the region.

       

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