The Historic Haut Brion Neighbor Delivers 400 Years of Pedigree and What is Arguably Bordeaux’s Greatest Value! Just Re-rated 95+ Points - The Artisanal Château is the Highest-Rated Bordeaux from the 2014 Vintage Under $60. Zachys Wine of the Day: 2014 Château Les Carmes Haut Brion (95+AG/93JS/94+ZBT)!
“Saint-Estèphe and Pessac-Léognan are the stars in 2014...One of the stars of the vintage, the 2014 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is total knock-out.” Antonio Galloni
Even with the 100-point, 2005 Château Latour re-release and the buzz around the 2016 En Primeur being compared to the bench mark year of 1961, the hottest news, and wines, coming out of Bordeaux is the value that the 2014 vintage offers. Today, we are presenting for the first time, Château Les Carmes Haut Brion. The 400-year-old, small artisanal neighbor to Château Haut Brion with its ancient gravelly soils and old vines of Pessac-Léognan is now the #1 collector value from the critically acclaimed vintage! At under $60, with its 95+ point re-rating, and a mere 1,600 case production, this is one of the more difficult finds of the vintage.
Well, the Zachys Team just uncorked this 2014 bottling for a second time, and like Antonio Galloni, we were blown away by the approachability - this is a rare, young crowd pleaser from Bordeaux – awesome!! Les Carmes is another one of those historic Graves estates with an impressive story that came to be as the result of the neighboring Château Haut Brion. In 1854, the 101-year-old lord of Haut Brion, Jean de Pontac, gifted the symbolic water mill and surrounding vineyards to the Carmelites of Notre-Dame, a group of friars who managed the estate from as early as 1584 until the French Revolution in 1789. Here are on the 28 hectare plot there are essentially three terroirs with the same gravel, clay and limestone soils to be found as the iconic neighbors. The terroir favors cabernet franc – in fact, the Château has a higher percentage of cabernet franc than perhaps any other vineyard on the Left Bank – which adds to the red fruit nuances, aromatics and finesse.
In tasting thousands of glasses of Bordeaux over the past decade, the question that comes to mind when tasting the awe-inspiring wines of Haut-Bailly, Malarctic Lagravière, Domaine du Chevalier, and now, Les Carmes Haut Brion...Is there a better value in Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux than the terroir-driven gems of Pessac-Léognan? And when you consider that the neighboring 2014 Chateâu Haut Brion (100WA) easily commands $440 and you look down the road with 2014 Château Haut Bailly (98WA) at $86, you begin to realize the extraordinary value this Château delivers. Today, Les Carmes Haut Brion is once again Bordeaux’s rising stars, and with its recent re-rating of 95+ points, it is one of the value wines of the celebrated vintage. Unfortunately, with a mere case production of 1,500 there is very little to be found.