Marks and reviews
A great, rich and powerful wine from Pauillac
The Liberal family has headed Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal since the beginning of the 18th century. Over time, these fine connoisseurs have brought together the best terroirs in Pauillac. This 5th Cru Classe in 1855 has been owned by the Villars family since 1983, who has invested lots into the chateau to restore its former glory, undertaking a total reworking of their vinification tools and orienting their vineyard management towards sustainable viticulture. Under the auspices of Claire Villars-Lurton, the third generation in charge of the estate and Thomas Bontemps, Production Manager, Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal obtained its Bio certification in 2019 and is committed on its path towards biodynamic certification.
The 30 hectares of vines, located on one of the most high-quality terroirs in the Pauillac appellation, are cultivated on Garonne-Gunzian gravel upon a clay-limestone substratum.
Winter was, on the whole, rainy, and conditions significantly improved from April. Water supplies were very available just before a hot and dry summer which began in June and intensified in July. Salvaging spells of rain in August gave a big boost to berry ripening, offering concentrated berries which gave a glimpse of a low-quantity but high-quality harvest. The harvests confirmed an exceptional level of ripeness, worthy of the greatest vintages.
Manual harvests. Traditional vinification in concrete and stainless steel tanks. Plot-based selection.
16 months of aging in French oak barrels (40% new barrels).
This great wine from Bordeaux demonstrates a wonderfully precise balance in the glass. On the palate, which has well-integrated and firm tannins, it offers a rather energetic acidity, which gives a certain freshness to the whole. The aromatic character is sustained by black fruits, small berries in particular, as well as spices and tobacco. Between indulgence and classicism, Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2015 offers much delight up to a long and marked finish.
James Suckling: 94/100
Wine Enthusiast: 94/100