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2015 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion
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The 2015 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 57% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 8 September and 5 October. Compared directly with the La Chapelle Mission Haut-Brion, I find that this does not quite possess the same delineation at the moment. This is broodier and more introspective in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, layers of dark berry fruit tinged with tobacco and cedar, gaining weight towards the finish that fans out with a sense of conviction. This should turn out to be an authoritative deuxième vin that will probably be consumed in its youth, but clearly possesses the substance to repay ageing. Those with wise heads will afford it 5-6 years in bottle.
Neal Martin - eRobertParker.com #224 (Apr 2016)
More powerful than La Chapelle this year. 57% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc. Excellent tannin structure and very good quality fruit of great length. Beautiful bright reflection of violet edging. One that is set to develop slowly.
Racy and refined second wine with polished and pretty tannins. Full body. Pretty.
There is a serious side to this wine. It shows much of the slightly austere character of young Haut-Brion. At the same time, the fine red fruits and acidity give it a lift and accessibility. This wine will develop relatively quickly.
A huge, ample wine, the 2015 La Clarence de Haut-Brion will give readers a very good idea of what the vintage is all about at the château. The flavors are dark and boldly sketched throughout. Violet, lavender, mint, spice, gravel and earthiness all add to the wine's distinctly masculine, brooding personality. Far from an easygoing second wine, the 2015 Clarence has the pedigree to drink well for a number of years, but it also needs time in bottle to come together fully.