2015 Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal

Year: 2015
Appellation: Pauillac
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 89
Wine Advocate: 88-90
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 94
Jeb Dunnuck: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"Fresh up front, with friendly black cherry and plum fruit lined with gently singed vanilla, light black tea and graphite notes. Solid, though flashes of tobacco and savory flitter through the finish, tilting this toward the herbaceous side, with a slightly austere twinge at the end. Best from 2020 through 2028. 10,000 cases made. JM" (WS)

"The 2015 Haut Bages Liberal is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot that is matured in 40% new French oak over a 16-month period. It has a slightly chalky bouquet, tight-knit and conservative, but that is the usual style of this Pauillac cru en barriques. The palate is medium-bodied with solid tannin. This is an edgy Pauillac that is nicely focused, although I would have liked to have seen more substance towards the finish to balance the slightly obdurate tannins. This was one Pauillac cru that feels challenged by the September storms." (WA)

"The 2015 Haut-Bages Libéral is one of the best releases in recent years. It has an elegant bouquet of refined black cherry and crushed strawberry aromas; the oak here is very well knitted. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, grainy tannin, layers of black fruit laced with tar and tobacco, and firm but not overbearing grip on the finish. Good aging potential here. Excellent. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting. " (VM)

"Plenty of spicy, savory oak influence comes to the fore above a vibrant array of cassis, blackberries and plums. The palate has rich and powerful tannins that roll sturdy and long, carrying plenty of deep cherry and plum flavors. Filled out nicely, but still more to come. Try from 2022." (JS)

"The 2015 Château Haut-Bages Libéral (65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot brought up in 40% new oak) is an outstanding Pauillac that offers a little old-school vibe in its firm, focused, medium-bodied style and black fruits, earth, graphite and underbrush-driven aromas and flavors. It has impressive purity, integrated acidity, and notable tannin, and should be loved by classic Claret lovers. Give bottles 4-5 years and drink over the following 15. " (JD)

"Editors' Choice, This is one of the three biodynamic estates that are owned by Gonzague and Claire Lurton. The wine is generous while also firmly structured in the style of this property. A dense, dry core surrounded by blackberry and black-currant fruit promises great things. It finishes clean, clear and crisp. Drink from 2024. -Roger Voss" (WE)