2013 Le Clarence de Haut Brion
By Chateau Haut Brion
2013 Le Clarence de Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux
In the pantheon of Bordeaux vintages, the 2013 offering presented formidable challenges due to variable climatic conditions. Nevertheless, the 2013 Le Clarence de Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion emerges as a testament to the adroit craftsmanship of this iconic estate.
Celebrating Resilience and Mastery
The vicissitudes of the 2013 harvest in Pessac-Léognan are well-documented—this was a year that put the mettle of vine-growers and winemakers to the ultimate test. Against this backdrop, Chateau Haut Brion's proficiency shines. The 2013 Le Clarence de Haut Brion displays an impressive finesse, with a harmonious interplay between acidity and tannins not often seen in such challenging years.
A Portrait of Elegance Amidst Adversity
This vintage unusually offers quite an energetic palate for its season, vividly articulating red fruits interspersed with hints of earth and truffle—a nod perhaps to the lighter touch required by such a mercurial vintage. The wine reveals a medium body, an appealing structure that remains accessible—deliberately so—and a finish that lingers just long enough to remind one of its noble pedigree.
Investors should take note: whilst 2013 may have been overlooked initially due to broader conditions, it is the skill with which estates like Chateau Haut Brion navigated these circumstances that craft wines worthy of attention. The 2013 Le Clarence de Haut Brion is a reflection of its time; it holds an allure for those seeking resilience amidst their collection.
Conclusion: A Connoisseur's Insight
This 2013 Le Clarence de Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion is both a connoisseur’s curiosity and smart acquisition for the patient investor looking for gems that may appraise in esteem as well as value with maturation. It is not only a survivor of a trying year but also celebrates the steadfast spirit of Bordeaux's winemaking excellence.
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Scores and tasting notes
The second wine of Haut-Brion, the 2013 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, is a blend of 57% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. It is better than its nearby rival, the second wine of La Mission Haut-Brion, La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion, because it is more charming and has plenty of black currant, cherry and plum-like fruit. It has good color, not a lot of tannin, structure or density, but does have the Graves-like minerality one expects from this appellation. It is meant to be drunk in its exuberant youthfulness and thus should be consumed in its first 7-8 years of life.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #214 Aug 2014
The 2013 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has retained that light but attractive black plum and strawberry-scented bouquet, not complex, but clean, pure and well defined. The palate is driven by that fleshy Merlot component at its core (57% of the blend), surrounded by meaty notes imparted by the Cabernet Franc. There is a touch of coarseness and austerity towards the finish, suggesting that another 1-2 years in bottle will do this deuxième vin of Haut-Brion no harm at all.
Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 October 2016