Clarence Haut Brion 2009

RegionBordeaux
SubregionPessac-Leognan
ColourRed
TypeStill


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Tasting Notes

The second wine, the 2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, is almost as large a cuvee as the grand vin. This 7,000-case cuvee 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. Drink: 2012-2032

Score: 92Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (199), March 2012

The second wine, which used to be called Bahans Haut-Brion, is now Le Clarence Haut-Brion. The 2009 is a 7,000-case cuvee made of 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and a tiny dosage of Petit Verdot. The wine has a fabulous nose of incense, burning embers, forest floor, and black cherry liqueur. Fleshy, rich, full-bodied, but not over the top as the minerality and structure move in, this is a super-duper effort, and the greatest second wine made at Haut-Brion since the 1989 Bahans Haut-Brion. It should drink well for 20-25 years. (Tasted once.) Drink 2010-2035.

Robert Parker added an asterisk to this wine score to signify that it is a wine he considers has the finest potential of all the offerings he has ever tasted from this estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux.

Score: 90/93Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

The 2009 Clarence de Haut-Brion has a refined and elegant bouquet with pure red fruit, undergrowth, clove and leather, perhaps just a little brettanomyces becoming more obvious with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, rounded in texture with truffle and leather infused red fruit. There is fine grip on the finish and it should continue to age extremely well in bottle. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2022 - 2038

Score: 92Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019

Tasted at the chateau. The erstwhile Bahans, this has a touch more depth and breadth on the aromatics compared to the La Chapelle de al Mission, blackberry, graphite, hints of cassis and mint. Nice definition. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, notes of blackberry, graphite, a touch of tobacco leaf, a sprinkle of black pepper, leading to a masculine, quite tannic entry that grips the mouth. Very fine, but it will need more time than most Bahans of the past. Tasted April 2010.

Score: 88/90Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010

This is very, very Haut-Brion. Perhaps this second wine is like the gran vin in 1995? Full body, with rich ripe tannins, with a silky texture. It is dense and powerful. Long and rich. Better in 2016. Best second wine of Haut-Brion ever? It has just about everything Haut-Brion has in an excellent year like this. Try in 2019

Score: 95James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2012

Violets and berries on the nose, with just a whiff of cream and vanilla. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and gorgeous fruit. Caressing, silky finish. The renamed second wine of Haut-Brion (used to be Bahans).

Score: 90/93James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2010

The renamed second wine of Haut-Brion that was once called Bahans. Deeper, less blue colour than the Chapelle de La Mission. Very subtle nose that pulls you in but doesn't broadcast much. Pretty firm tannins. Really quite severe at this point. Very different from the buxom norm of this vintage. Very dense indeed. This will need a long, long time. Pretty ambitious.…Date tasted 2nd April 2010. Drink 2020-2032.

Score: 17+Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010

The second wine of Chateau Haut Brion is consistently good and usually (compared to the second wines of the other First growths) good value. Made from a sizeable percentage of this First Growth's total production, it is assembled from the vats that don't suit the final blend of Haut Brion itself. From 2007 onwards it has been known as Le Clarence de Haut-Brion (instead of Bahans Haut Brion), in tribute to Clarence Dillon who purchased Haut Brion in 1934. It is now also bottled in the iconic and distinctive Haut Brion bottle. In 2009 it represents 41% of Haut Brion's total production.46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Excellent weight, lots of ripe fruit, some cigar box character, a touch of cream and vanilla from the 23% new oak. Friendly and attractive, should drink at a relatively early age thanks to its polished sweet fruit and ripe, smooth tannins. Lovely stuff.

Score: 16.5Farr Vintners, November 2009

The nose appears quite firm very dominated by sloes. There is an attractive mix of fleshier cassis and black plum on the palate, a richness that ensures depth of flavour. The firmer tannins that lie beneath give it structure, a rather serious character but then freshness wins through brightening and lengthening the flavours. Drink 2016-2028.

Score: 87/91Derek Smedley MW, April 2010

Deep velvety purple red, rich satiny-smooth, polished plummy ripe fruits, distinctive flavours combining vigour, finesse and seductive charm. Drink 2015-25.

Score: 17.5Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2010

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.