2008 Le Clarence de Haut Brion
By Chateau Haut Brion
2008 Le Clarence de Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
The heralded 2008 vintage of Le Clarence de Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion stands as a testament to the resilience and versatility of the Pessac-Leognan terroir amid climatic whims. This particular vintage encapsulates the close-knit relationship between nature's elements and the vintner’s deft touch in a temperamental year for Bordeaux.
A Vintage Defying Expectations
The millesime started with a trying spring, raising concerns over vine development but soon gave way to a summer that fluctuated before settling into a gracious autumn. This turnaround period was pivotal, enabling the grapes to achieve ripeness and complexity that might otherwise have eluded them. The wine expresses a finesse that could only be orchestrated by Chateau Haut Brion, a paragon of winemaking.
Anatomy of a Remarkable Second Wine
The composition of 2008 Le Clarence de Haut Brion mirrors its storied first wine sibling; albeit in its own distinct style. The layers unfold with subtlety: ripe red fruit draped over a foundation of fine tannins and an underpinning of the classic gravelly minerality. Traces of spice and tobacco evolve as the wine opens up, revealing the poised character one anticipates from Chateau Haut Brion's craft.
In your glass, the 2008 iteration delivers harmonious notes that are reflective of its growing season - a balance of structure, elegance, and aromatic breadth. It invites investors to explore how excellence can arise from challenge; an attribute highly regarded in fine wine investment circles.
A Convergence of Rarity and Investment Sensibility
In the grand tapestry of Chateau Haut Brion's offerings, Le Clarence de Haut Brion, particularly from this standout vintage, is not simply a secondary label but an insightful opportunity for connoisseurs and investors alike. The 2008 vintage holds a special place in the lineage, offering a snapshot of meticulous cultivation against adverse odds, proving to be an undeniably shrewd addition to any portfolio.
The 2008 Le Clarence de Haut Brion emerges as an eloquent envoy for both its storied estate and renowned vintage. It encapsulates the endurance of Pessac-Leognan's terroir and presents an engagement with each sensory expectation. Rich in expression yet intrepid in origin - this vintage is one for true admiration and considered investment.
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Scores and tasting notes
Tasted ex-chateau and single blind in Southwold. I was quite blown away by the 'Clarence de Haut-Brion'. It has a classy, much more reserved, undergrowth-tinged bouquet with beautifully defined tertiary fruit. The palate is full-bodied with sinewy tannins. Forceful, powerful, masculine but it maintains balance and freshness from start to finish. Wow. This rips up all my previous expectations! Tasted January 2012.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2012
Le Clarence de Haut-Brion: The super 2008 (45% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc) exhibits soft, ripe tannins as well as copious black cherry and loamy soil notes intermixed with notions of smoke and roasted herbs. It is a beautifully pure, deep, already delicious and complex wine that should drink nicely for 10-12 years.
Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 1 May 2011
The second wine of Haut-Brion. Very pretty, subtle tannins, with hints of dried fruits and tobacco. Medium-to-full body with integrated tannins.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com, July 1st 2013