Chateau Haut Brion   Le Clarence de Haut Brion

2012 Le Clarence de Haut Brion

By Chateau Haut Brion

2012 Le Clarence de Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

The 2012 vintage in Bordeaux was not without its challenges; a cool and rainy spring was followed by a turbulent flowering period, leading to considered speculation regarding the excellence that could be achieved. However, languishing in the shadows of Bordeaux’s grandest chateaux, Chateau Haut Brion’s second wine, Le Clarence de Haut Brion, emerged with endearing qualities that made 2012 a vintage worth appreciating for its unique variances in characters.


Elegance in an Austere Year

Sorting and selection were paramount in sculpting the 2012 Le Clarence de Haut Brion. This exacting process at harvest borne finesse where others might have faltered. Here you find a blend that retained aromatic complexity: graphite-tinged plum notes and a whisper of the classic smoke unfold with elegance rather than exuberance.

Matured in 20-25% new oak barrels for about 18 months, the 2012 Le Clarence offers investors a glimpse into Chateau Haut Brion’s storied winemaking – a feat more remarkable in a year fraught with viticultural snares. It wields an enigmatic soft-spoken power; medium-bodied with supple tannins that promise further integration over time – something which savvy collectors can appreciate.


An Investment of Poise

The savvy wine investor will see past the vintage's initial cool reception and note how 2012 Le Clarence de Haut Brion is aging gracefully, nestling into an exquisite balance of fruit and tannic structure. It's an assertive nod towards the wine's potential longevity and compositional integrity which will no doubt intrigue those looking to diversify their portfolio with Poise.

Whether for immediate gratification or long-term maturation, the precise vinification and adept barrel management have ensured that this vintage moves beyond its climatic constraints, embedding it firmly as one to watch and invest within the fluctuating tides of wine marketability.

In summation, the 2012 Le Clarence from Chateau Haut Brion demonstrates how careful stewardship can overcome an unpredictable season, yielding a strong candidate for investment consideration among Bordeaux enthusiasts.

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Scores and tasting notes


Lots of red fruits and soft tannins with a full body. Juicy and delicious. Love the depth to this. Lovely fruit. Second wine of Haut-Brion.

James Suckling -, April 21st 2013


A wonderfully expansive, velvety textured, rich, full-bodied mouthfeel, are super and very impressive in the 2012 Le Clarence de Haut Brion. This is far higher quality than what most people would consider a second wine, even when coming from a first-growth chateau. Mulberry, spice box and expansive, rich flavors backed up by velvety tannins characterize this medium to full-bodied beautiful wine to drink now and over the next 15-20 years. Bravo.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 29 April 2015


Haut-Brion's second wine, the 2012 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, is a delicious, seductive, fruity, lighter-styled effort exhibiting plenty of crushed rock, floral and mineral notes intermixed with red and black currants, camphor and forest floor. This pretty, medium-bodied wine can be drunk upon release or cellared for a decade.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #206


A blend of 41% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot and 14% Cabernet Franc, the Le Clarence is missing some intensity on the nose, especially compared to the La Chapelle tasted alongside. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity. The mid-palate is disjointed at the moment, that tannins a little abrasive, whilst the finish is showing some attenuation. La Chapelle has the upper hand at the moment. Tasted April 2013.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2013

Vintage performance