|Classification||5ème Cru Classé|
Claire Villars told us that in 2006, in a bid for an extra level of finesse, they had left out a parcel of Cabernet which, although good, is always on the marginally rustic side. Very deep colour. Very rich nose, oaky, but also full of meaty, weighty fruit. Concentrated. Spice and mineral, lots of cassis impact but also finer, more seamless and longer than usual. Tannic finish does not take away the charm.
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The Haut Bages Liberal ’06 is still a little closed on the nose with dark plum, mulberry, a touch of truffle coming through. It is a little muted at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied, quite powerful with firm, obdurate tannins, fine delineation towards the grainy, minerally finish with good length, but broody and closed for play at the moment. Drink 2014-2020+ Tasted March 2011.
89/100 Neal Martin, www.erobertparker.com (Sep 2011)
Very dark crimson. Lift, even slight volatility, on the nose. Round, wonderful texture - what a lot of effort has gone into this. Fully ripe fruit. Quite distinguished. [Couldn't help thinking this must be Pichon Longueville.] Super glossy - the opposite of rustic. Positively slides over the palate. Is there quite enough in the middle? It's certainly very distinguished. Just slightly hollow in the middle. [Yet again, HBL shows especially well en primeur?] 2015-25
17- Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
Deep colour, concentrated berry fruit lifted by natural acidity, slight leafy greenness but enough fruit concentration to see it through. 2012-20.
A soft, fleshy, up-front styled Pauillac that will provide delicious drinking over the next 10-15 years, the 2006 Haut-Bages Liberal is dark ruby/purple in color and exhibits notes of licorice, roasted herbs, black currants, and plums. It is a sexy, round, silky-textured wine that seems something of an “outlier” in this tannic vintage.
89/100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.eRobertParker.com
Beautiful nose of ripe blackberry and currant. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long finish. Very well done. Impressive.
92 - 94/100 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator
Red-ruby. Cool aromas of cherry and licorice. Supple on entry, then rather withdrawn in the middle palate, offering a restrained sweetness. A slightly rustic style, with substantial dusty tannins, but there's good flavor intensity here.
86 - 88/100 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(Sept 2007) Shows very well at this stage. Compact, sleek, singing with health. Dry on the finish but shiny and lively. Good for relatively early drinking. 2012-18
16 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
Château Haut Bages Libéral: Full Wine List and Profile
Pauillac Cinquième cru 1855 Château Haut Bages Libéral sits nearly atop the hill to the south of the hamlet of Bages - hence the name, Haut Bages - seperated by a country lane from Château Latour. The estate was owned by the Libéral family during the 18th Century, hence the last part of the name. Despite being surrounded by illustious neighbours - aside from Latour to the immediate south, Haut Bages Libéral can also count the two Pichons as "next door" - achieving 5th Growth status in 1855 seems to have been a bit of a high point as a century of typically Bordelais decline followed. In 1960 the Cruse family took control and, apart from cleaving off a portion of vineyards and handing them over to Château Pontet-Canet, the fortunes of Haut Bages Libéral began to improve. The Cruse family were forced to sell in 1982 and Château Haut Bages Libéral became part of the Merlaut family's Taillan Group, which includes Chasse Spleen and Gruaud Larose. The 28ha of vineyard are planted to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine is fermented in stainless steel before spending 16 months in wood (40% new). Whilst not living up to the greatest heights of its neighbour Latour, Haut Bages Libéral offers some very good value for a really well-made Pauillac.
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