x
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Roast Pauillac Lamb

The Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2013 has a lovely plump feel, with plum Bing cherry and blackberry fruit lined with savory, tobacco and warm cedar notes. It's lightly firm through the finish but this has ample flesh for the vintage.

"2013 is a bit like 2004 and 2011 in style. It's showing tannins now, as '04 and '11 did right away. For some they seemed angular during the en primeur, but now, 10 years later, '04 is a beautiful-drinking vintage and '11 will probably be just like that too," said Delmas. "I can see '13 in the same way."

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The Story

The second wine of the famous Château Haut-Brion, it shares some of the same hallmark characteristics. Ripe red berry fruit with hints of cocoa and a good body with great finesse.

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Vintage 2013

Mother Nature will have put us to the test in 2013, presenting an early challenge with a wet spring. Hence, difficult flowering conditions caused some coulure (shot berries) and millerandage (abnormal fruit set, with berries of uneven size). This environment paved the way for a small crop and the need for meticulous sorting during the harvest. Fortunately, a hot (especially in July), dry summer enabled the vines to recover from this difficult spring, although not enough to make up for the delay in phenological ripeness. Our vineyards were practically unaffected by the violent hail storms that devastated certain parts of Bordeaux. 
 

The months of August and September were devoted to preparing for a late harvest. This included thinning out late-maturing bunches in each plot to retain only grapes that were ripe from a technological and organoleptic standpoint. Picking started on September 17th for the whites and on the 24th for the reds. The weather alternated between beautiful sunny periods and rainy ones. Combining two qualities essential to winegrowers – patience and vigilance – we had to find just the right balance between waiting for optimum ripeness and anticipating the arrival of rainy spells -generally conducive to the development of grey rot.  


We also needed to be very rigorous in sorting the grapes to eliminate the consequences of a poor spring (millerandage) and autumn (grey rot). This was absolutely essential in 2013 in order to produce quality. To achieve this goal, we asked pickers to be extremely vigilant and to harvest only perfectly sound grapes. 

In front of each vat room at  Château Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion, a sorting table was installed to produce a further selection prior to destemming and before the introduction into an optical sorting machine (a "tribaie" densimetric sorting machine at Château Quintus)  which helped us to fine tune the already meticulous selections made by the pickers and sorters. The alcoholic fermentation went very well and the last vats are now finishing their malolactic fermentation.

 

The most salient feature of the 2013 vintage is that yields are very small – about 25-30 hectolitres per hectare, compared to 44 hl/ha last year. 

The other major characteristic of the 2013 vintage is its quality, which is, of course, our ongoing and overriding concern. We are pleased to confirm that so far the wines show fine structure, reminiscent of such good vintages as 2004, 2007 and 2008.
Our work is now focusing on careful tasting to prepare the final blend – to "construct" the best possible wine for this vintage. This will be followed by barrel ageing adapted to the profile of each wine. Even though Mother Nature did not exactly make things easy for us, we can honestly say as of now that our intimate understanding of our terroirs, combined with advances in sustainable viticulture and oenology, has enabled us to produce quality wines. Such results would unquestionably have been impossible 40 or 50 years ago...

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black centre. Eleagnt aromat reminscent of graphite, combined with discreet toasted flavours, mulberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. On the palate well structured with juicy fruit, hints of minerality, elegant body and excellent aromatic length.
  • 92p

Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Other wines from this producer

Château Haut-Brion

Château Haut-Brion Blanc

La Clarté de Haut-Brion

Plantiers de Haut-Brion

Inside Information

"Features a plump feel, with plum, cherry and blackberry fruit lined with savory, tobacco and warm cedar notes. Lightly firm through the finish, but this has ample flesh for the vintage. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.—Tasted non-blind. "

Reviewed by: James Molesworth, Wine Spectator - 88-91pts 

"Barrel Sample. The second wine of Haut-Brion, this is soft, fruity and full of black currant notes. It is gentle and rounded, with the freshness that comes from the vintage."Reviewed by: The Wine Enthusiast - 90 to 92pts

 

 

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Highlights

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92p
 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2013  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black centre. Eleagnt aromat reminscent of graphite, combined with discreet toasted flavours, mulberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. On the palate well structured with juicy fruit, hints of minerality, elegant body and excellent aromatic length. "

1y 6m ago

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