Clarence Haut Brion 2015


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Tasting Notes

The 2015 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 57% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc picked from 8 September to 5 October. It has a more sedate bouquet compared to the La Chapelle, with slightly earthier black fruit laced with black olive and cedar aromas, but nothing overly powerful. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly more conspicuous tannin than the La Chapelle, yet it is just as fresh with a gentle but insistent grip on the finish. This seems just so natural and balanced that you could almost broach it now, although I would prefer to leave it in bottle 2 or 3 years because I am sure it will mature with style. Anticipated maturity: 2021 - 2038.

Score: 92Neal Martin, -, March 2018

The 2015 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 57% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 8 September and 5 October. Compared directly with the La Chapelle Mission Haut-Brion, I find that this does not quite possess the same delineation at the moment. This is broodier and more introspective in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, layers of dark berry fruit tinged with tobacco and cedar, gaining weight towards the finish that fans out with a sense of conviction. This should turn out to be an authoritative deuxième vin that will probably be consumed in its youth, but clearly possesses the substance to repay ageing. Those with wise heads will afford it 5-6 years in bottle.

Score: 91/93Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

This is a seriously impressive vintage for this second label of Chateau Haut-Brion. Blended of 57% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2015 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion displays a medium to deep garnet-purple color and expressive notes of crushed black cherries, blackberries, warm plums, dusty soil and spice cake with touches of dried roses and cigar boxes. Medium to full-bodied with wonderful concentration and depth, it features firm, beautifully rounded tannins and lively acid, finishing long and earthy. 2020 - 2039

Score: 93+Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim Fe), February 2018

Aromas of forest floor, mushrooms, lavender and violets. Full-bodied, tight and structured with fantastic tannins and focus. Long and layered. Impressively toned. Give it three or four years to come together. Begin drinking in 2023.

Score: 95James Suckling,, February 2018

Racy and refined second wine with polished and pretty tannins. Full body. Pretty.

Score: 93/94James Suckling,, March 2016

Just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel, the 2015 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a very serious second wine. The Clarence captures the personality of the vintage at Haut-Brion with terrific eloquence. An infusion of black cherry, mocha, tobacco, chocolate and violet leads into the dark, virile finish. What a gorgeous wine this is! 2020 - 2035

Score: 92Antonio Galloni,, February 2018

A huge, ample wine, the 2015 La Clarence de Haut-Brion will give readers a very good idea of what the vintage is all about at the château. The flavors are dark and boldly sketched throughout. Violet, lavender, mint, spice, gravel and earthiness all add to the wine's distinctly masculine, brooding personality. Far from an easygoing second wine, the 2015 Clarence has the pedigree to drink well for a number of years, but it also needs time in bottle to come together fully.

Score: 90/92Antonio Galloni,, April 2016

Tasted blind. Mid crimson. Slightly muddy, non-exhibitionistic nose. Fresh start and definitely Graves without being at all showy.
Drink 2024-2038

Score: 17-Jancis Robinson MW,, February 2019

Some obvious Cabernet Sauvignon on the nose. Sweetness on the front palate and then marked fine tannins. Not nearly knit. Very inky finish. Not a charmer at the moment! Dried-grape impression on the end. But there's a little more grace than in the Chapelle de La Mission.
Drink 2025-2034

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2016

The second wine of Chateau Haut Brion 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. The 2015 blend is 57% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep purple colour. An attractive black cherry and smoky Graves nose. The palate is fleshy with black fruits and silky with polished, rounded tannins providing a seemless texture. Autumnal fruits are bolstered by smoky new oak and lifted by hints of cherry blossom. This has a long and elegant finish with hints of tobacco supporting the ripe fruit.

Score: 16.5Farr Vintners, March 2016

Leading off the reds, the 2015 Le Clarence de Haut Brion is the second wine of the estate and is 57% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Like its big brother, it has a classic, straight profile, medium-bodied richness, and textbook Graves notes of tobacco leaf, cedary spice, currants, and plums. Balanced, nicely concentrated, and with fine tannin, it will be better in a few years and keep for a decade or more. 2018 - 2028

Score: 91Jeb Dunnuck,, November 2017

Rich and ripe on the nose the mix of black fruits is sweet the mid palate fleshy and supple a sumptuous richness. Bilberry and bramble underpin and balance the layers of flavour giving complexity and although rich and ripe at the back the finish is fresher with stylish elegance.

Score: 91/93Derek Smedley MW,, April 2016

Less than half of the total production of Haut-Brion went into the second wine, such was the
quality of the Grand Vin in 2015. This is rich and well upholstered, with a complex, refined
palate, tannins that are almost Italianate in intensity and refreshing acidity. Drink: 2022-32

Score: 93Tim Atkin MW,, April 2016

Rather tense and very closed and full, this is a magnificent wine and if I didn’t know any better I would say it was someone’s Grand Vin. Brutally youthful but with sensational fruit density and quality this is made to live for thirty or forty years and with this cépage it surely will. You can taste the richness and fitness of the tannins and they take my breath away.

Score: 18+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2016

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.