Wine Advocate (Robert Parker) 91-93/100 2010: The finest Haut-Bages-Liberal I have tasted in many years, this sleeper of the vintage exhibits a blue/purple hue as well as projected aromatics of blue and black fruits, spring flowers and subtle background oak. Full-bodied with moderately high tannins, a layered mouthfeel and a long finish, it should be at its best between 2017 and 2035.
Wine Advocate (Neal Martin) 90-92/100 Tasted at the chateau and at the UGC, cropped at 42hl/ha, the Haut-Bages-Liberal 28% Merlot and 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, this has a very well defined nose of blackberry, briary, wild hedgerow and a touch of crushed stone. With a little aeration there is a touch of oyster shell. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine, quite succulent tannins on the entry that belies the backbone underneath. Good grip, though showing more silkiness under sunny skies and high pressure the following week at the UGC.
James Suckling (James Suckling) 92-93/100 A balanced young wine, with smoky, blackberry and chewy aromas and flavors. Full and velvety, with a fresh finish.
Decanter Magazine (Steven Spurrier) 17/20 Well-extracted ripe cassis fruit both briary and rich, good fragrance and purity, structure and length, right up with its 5th growth peers. Drink 2017-28.
Wine Spectator (James Molesworth) 91-94/100 Shows friendly mocha and roasted tobacco up front, followed by a mouthfilling core of blackberry, plum and cassis. The dense but velvety finish has nice latent grip.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.