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 grand cru on the left bank of Bordeaux has been owned by the Villars family since 1983, who has restored Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal to its former glory by undertaking a total reworking of their vinification tools and orienting their vineyard management towards sustainable viticulture.
Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal is a wine made from organic farming which aims for biodynamism. The 30 hectares of vines are cultivated on Garonne-Gunzian gravel upon a clay-limestone substratum.
The 2016 vintage experienced a summer which combined heat and drought with a lack of water, allowing the berries to accumulate anthocyanins and a high level of sugar. From mid-September, temperatures dropped, allowing the berries to perfectly ripen while preserving their quality. Harvests were carried out from 27 September to 19 October.
Winemaking and aging
Traditional vinification is carried out in concrete tanks. Plot-based selection. Aging lasts for 16 months in new barrels, of which 40% are new.
Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2016 is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (30%).
At tasting, Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2016 presents a wonderfully rich color. The wine reveals pronounced, well-balanced tannins.
James Suckling 94-95/100
Wine Spectator 90-93/100
The 2016 Haut Bages Liberal has a very focused and much more sumptuous bouquet than in previous years, thankfully without dispensing any of its character. It just seems more confident on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, pretty blackberry and boysenberry fruit laced with a touch of oyster shell, sashaying towards a quite elegant finish with admirable depth. You would not describe this as a potentially exciting Pauillac, but I suspect it will be delicious once in bottle.