Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2010
Tasting Notes Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2010
Quite jammy on the nose with lots of fruit. Plums, berries and jam. Full body, with a fluid center palate and chewy tannins. Round and rich. Seems more upfront and friendly than the second wine of La Mission. 52% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. Better in 2018.
The second wine of Haut-Brion is now called Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, and the 2010 is among the finest I have tasted there. It is a broad, powerful and more muscular wine than its cross-street rival, La Chapelle de la Mission, but all the same, it is wonderfully fresh and precise, with notes of blueberry and boysenberry as well as hints of smoke and wet stones. Endowed with gorgeous fruit, texture, purity and elegance, this relatively dense second wine demonstrates how draconian the selection process has become for the top estates in Bordeaux in recent years. The blend of this wine is 52% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Cabernet Franc with just a touch of Petit Verdot. I would expect it to last at least 20 years, which is remarkable. Kudos to the team at Haut-Brion and to the proprietors, the Dillon family, who are now represented admirably and meticulously by Prince Robert of Luxembourg. He has made some changes, and all of them seem to have resulted in dramatic improvements to what was already an astonishing group of wines.
Tasted at Chateau Haut-Brion. I must say that comparing this against the La Chapelle, I find the latter more expressive at the moment, the Le Clarence perhaps riper and a tad more generous, yet without quite the same degree of clarity. The palate is medium-bodied with a ripe, cedar and tobacco infused entry. There is more weight and fruit intensity than the La Chapelle and builds nicely towards an iodine, dark plum and slightly saline finish. I was perhaps expecting a little more after its showing in barrel. Tasted November 2012.