2020 - Le Clarence de Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan
Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cab. Sauvignon/ Merlot/ Cab. Franc/ Petit Verdot
Case size
6x75cl
Available Now

2020 LE CLARENCE DE HAUT-BRION PESSAC-LÉOGNAN - 6x75cl

Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cab. Sauvignon/ Merlot/ Cab. Franc/ Petit Verdot
Case size
6x75cl
Available Later
In Bond
Case price £575 – £690
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Pricing

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Additional Information

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Tasting Notes

  • NM

    Neal Martin, May 2021,
    Score: 91-93

    The 2020 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has a succulent bouquet of dark cherries, boysenberry and crushed violet scents, quite heady and bold for a second wine (even the second wine of a First Growth!). The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, pliant tannins that frame the pure black cherry, wild strawberry and black currant fruit. Veins of licorice appear toward the finish. There is a lot of density in this Le Clarence and a little more structure than usual, and it suits it well. Drink 2024 - 2040

  • AG

    Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
    Score: 91-93

    The 2020 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a jewel of a wine. Deep, powerful and structured, it captures all of the gravitas of the Grand Vin, but in a more accessible style. Gravel, leather, tobacco, cedar and dried herbs lend quite a bit of aromatic nuance to this powerhouse Pessac-Léognan. I very much like the intensity and drive here. Drink 2025 - 2035

  • WCI

    Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
    Score: 94-96

    Forest leaf, cigar box, herbs, flowers, cherry pipe tobacco, forest scents and spice nuances start off the perfume. On the palate the wine is juicy, silky, fresh and vibrant with layers of fresh, sweet, vibrant, polished red fruits that linger. Elegance is the keyword here. This is probably the finest vintage of Le Clarence de Haut Brion ever produced. It is a great example of a baby Haut Brion. Enjoy this for the next 10-15 years while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop.

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, April 2021,
    Score: 17+

    Mid purplish crimson. Rather simple, or at least uncommunicative, on the nose at present, though there is a beguiling combination of ripe fruit and stoniness (warm bricks?) on the palate which has impressive concentration. Comparing it with other celebrated Pessac-Léognans of the same vintage, it is clear that this has some magic dust – as it should considering how much more expensive it is. Lots of leathery tannin underneath but it is the integrity of the fruit that is so impressive. Drink 2029 – 2048

  • MJ

    Matthew Jukes, April 2021,
    Score: 18.5+

    As a ‘second wine’, this is a monumental creation. As a standalone Pessac-Léognan red it is one of the finest of the vintage. But what I like most about 2020 Le Clarence is that it shows a completely different flavour, shape, texture, timbre and finish than its parent and this means that it is not one wine or the other which is the choice in this vintage – it is both. They are both absolutely unmissable. Dwelling on the red fruit side of the spectrum, Le Clarence has a Le Musigny quality about it and this is the first time I have ever written this sentence about a claret! As you may be able to tell, I love the complexity here and yet I must underline that you cannot even think about opening a bottle for twenty years. This is a slow burn Le Clarence and it is about as delectable and collectable as it gets.

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Producer

Château Haut-Brion

Arguably the oldest recognised Bordeaux grand cru, Haut Brion has been owned by the American Dillon family since 1935. The Château was an early moderniser - the first estate to implement steel vats in 1961 - and over the years, their incredible investments have re-established the inherent quality of this property, enabling it to emerge as possibly the most consistent first growth since the 1980s. Situated in Pessac-Léognan in Graves, the estate is the only classified growth located outside the Médoc. Château Haut Brion has the most Merlot and the most Cabernet Franc of any of the First Growths and the second wine is Bahans Haut Brion.

Region

Pessac-Léognan

Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.