Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Blackcurrant, orange peel and green coffee bean aromas follow through to a full body with medium, round tannins. Citrusy, juicy and rose bush finish. Chewy and intense. Some old vine character with bark and dark mushroom. Solid! One for the cellar. 72% cabernet sauvignon and 28% merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes. Demeter certification.
Barrel Sample: 93-95
The wine is refreshing from the start. Its tannins underline the line of acidity and lightness that gives the wine a fine structure. It is vibrant and bright yet it is possible to sense the depth of the tannins. Organic. Barrel Sample: 93–95
Barrel Sample: 91
This Chateau is almost up at the top! Just one small country lane separates the property and the highest point of the appellation. A lane which runs between Haut-Bages-Libéral and Pauillac's famous Chateau Latour.
When the Chateau came on the market in 1982, the great names of the Medoc region fought to buy it. The owners of Chasse Spleen were to become the proud owners. Their first vintage was a success, in no way hindered by the fact that 1982 was an exceptional year for Medoc wines. Since then, the quality of the work carried out by the wining team has not slackened and the wine they produce is becoming more and more popular with journalists and professionals of the wine world.
The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.
While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.
Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.
Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.