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Chateau Haut Bages Liberal 2012, Pauillac Grand Cru Classe

RM272.80

Grand Cru Classe EN 1855
Size: 750 ml
ABV: 13%

Grape Variety

75 % cabernet sauvignon, 25 % merlot

Tasting notes

The nose is complex with notes of cassis, smoky and a hint of cedar. The mouth is also fruity with a slightly spicy touch and show an admirable roundness. An expressive, voluptuous wine with fine, freshness,  and a beautiful aromatic persistence.  This 2012 vintage is a pretty nice classic of Château Haut-Bages Libéral.

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Description

Chateau Haut Bages Liberal EN1855 Classification

AT THE ORIGINS

The LIBERAL family had run the estate since the early XVIII th century. Then as wine brokers from father to son, they would sell most of the crops to the Netherlands and Belgium. Thanks to their name being next to that of the place, they were often invited to sit at the round tables of the political parties by the same name all over the world.

As time passed, those fine connoisseurs of wine collected the best soils of the Pauillac area. That is why half of the vineyard of this 1855 fifth classified growth is next to Château Latour and the other half is behind Château Pichon Baron, located on the higher part of the place called « Bages », a large plateau south of Pauillac.

A BEAUTIFUL VINEYARD

Chateau Haut Bages Liberal vinyards
This beautiful vineyard found a new youth in 1960 when the Cruse family, the owner at the time of Château Pontet-Canet – also a fifth classified growth – purchased the estate and launched a vast program of replanting the vines.

But it is not until the arrival of the Villars-Merlaut family in 1982 that Château Hau-Bages Liberal came back into its former splendor. Jacques Merlaut and his family already owned Château Chasse Spleen and château La Gurgue.

At the demise of her parents, Claire Villars took over and since 2000 – when the various estates were shared among the members of the family – she has fully been in charge of the estate as well as Château Ferrière and Château La Gurgue.

Characteristics of the vintage

In 2012, after an especially difficult Spring and beginning of Summer, the weather conditions were very favorable for the plants from mid-July.Indeed, the Winter was very cold and dry, with an important deficit of rainfall. When the temperatures became warmer, the budburst began but was long and heterogen. The phenological shift also delayed the flowering, which was very disrupted by rainfall. At the berry set, there was sagging of the merlot and the yields were rather low. Generally, Spring was very wet with a heavy pressure of mildew. Prophylaxis and the balance of the vines played an important role in the control of fungal diseases.

The rains stopped in mid-July for more than 2 months, which is extremely rare. From this date, more favorable temperatures allowed to catch up but the high temperatures of August and especially the lack of water locally slowed the ripening of the young vines that do not have a sufficiently developed root system.

Finally, in late September rainfall led to the development of the skin and accelerated the maturation. We started the harvest on October 1st  to end on October 10th, 2012. The distribution of the harvest on the foot (low yields) and the good condition of the vineyard, combining with a very precise work of sorting, were capital to optimize the quality of the vintage. Quickly, the merlot showed a remarkable flesh that we haven’t tasted for a long time. As the cabernet sauvignon, they did not disappoint us and were faithful to our land of Médoc. They are soft and rich of elegance. We will have powerful wines, tender and digestible. 2012 is a very good vintage and many successes are waiting for us ahead.

Tasting notes

The nose is complex with notes of cassis, smoky and a hint of cedar. The mouth is also fruity with a slightly spicy touch and show an admirable roundness. An expressive, voluptuous wine with fine, freshness,  and a beautiful aromatic persistence.  This 2012 vintage is a pretty nice classic of Château Haut-Bages Libéral.

Owner: Claire VILLARS LURTON
Production Manager: Thomas Bontemps
Winemaking consultant: Eric Boissenot
Surface of the vineyard: 30 hectares
Soil: Graves garonnaises gunziennes sur substrat argilo-calcaire
Plantation: 75 % cabernet sauvignon, 25 % merlot
Average age of the vineyard: 35 years
Density: 10000 plants/ha
Yield: 650 kg/plant
Growing: Traditional-Integrated wine growing management
Harvest: Hand picking
Vinification: Traditional in stainless and concrete vats, whose volumes are proportional to the plots
Fermentation on skins: 18 to 24 days

Source: http://www.hautbagesliberal.com/en/

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