|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
The second wine of Château 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.
Exotic fruit aromas of blackberry, blueberry, peach and orange peel. It’s full-bodied with a vertical flow of layered, chewy tannins that are integrated and intense. Extremely polished and focused. Crushed stone to the fruit in the aftertaste. Some bark and forest flowers, too. Great potential.
A blend of 60.1% Merlot, 31.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.7% Cabernet Franc and 1.5% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 7th to the 29th of September, the 2020 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has an estimated alcohol of 15.2%. Deep purple-black in color, it bursts from the glass with notions of baked black cherries, blackberry pie and plum preserves, leading to hints of ripe redcurrants, spice cake and smoked meats, plus a touch of hoisin. The big, rich, full-bodied palate is a full-on decadent mouthful, featuring lovely freshness to lift all that rich black fruit and a velvety texture, finishing long and spicy. A beautiful behemoth that is going to wow the hedonists! 2024 - 2040
Concentrated, with impact and punch. It has presence and barely takes a beat through the mid palate, as there is such a wall of blackberry and bilberry fruits. A brambly hedgerow feel, hard to argue with - but be aware that there is heat also; and this is a hedonistic wine. Harvest from 7th to 29th September.
Drinking Window 2023 - 2036
Full, distinctive, embossed bottle 1,305 g. Cask sample taken 12 April. 60.1% Merlot, 31.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.7% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot. Estimated alcohol: 15.2%. Picked from 7 to 29 September
Mid purplish crimson. Rather simple, or at least uncommunicative, on the nose at present, though there is a beguiling combination of ripe fruit and stoniness (warm bricks?) on the palate which has impressive concentration. Comparing it with other celebrated Pessac-Léognans of the same vintage, it is clear that this has some magic dust – as it should considering how much more expensive it is. Lots of leathery tannin underneath but it is the integrity of the fruit that is so impressive.
Drink 2029 – 2048
(60% M, 32% CS, 8% CF; 15.2% ABV)
Ripe blackberry Merlot to smell; full, moderately concentrated, firmly but finely tannic; a refined and relatively delicate core of fruit here, sweet and fresh, with the alcohol presence distracting a bit from its finesse, but behind that, this is long and graceful, with excellent sweet fruit persistence. The somewhat “dryhard” tannin texture distracts a bit, which it would not do at 13.5% ABV, for example. A refined, freshly sweet, graceful wine, successful in the style, if not so obviously Pessac-Léognan in origin any more. 2028–38+.