The 2019 Haut-Bages Libéral is a gorgeous wine from Claire Lurton, even if it has closed down a bit post-bottling. Deep and translucent in feel, the 2019 gradually reveals hints of crushed red berry fruit, mint, spice, rose petal and orange peel. I especially admire the overall energy and aromatic presence. All the 2019 needs is a few years to fully come together.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2044
Jane Anson 93
A successful Haut Bages Libéral, with juicy black cassis fruits, firm Pauillac tannins with a eucalyptus and white pepper twist on the finish. 40% new oak here. This is an estate that is in full evolution right now, with an impressive commitment to doing things differently – they are just uprooting a 1ha plot in front of the chateau, for example, to replant as agroforestry. First year officially certified Ecocert. 49hl/ha yield.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2036
James Suckling 96
Complex nose of blackberries, currants, oyster shells, iodine, gravel, cloves, dried leaves and bark. Medium-bodied with firm, very fine tannins. Layered and serious. Extremely long in the finish. Classic Pauillac. 20% aged in concrete. 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes. Try after 2026.
Robert Parker 94
The 2019 Haut-Bages-Libéral has turned out superbly, offering up aromas of wild berries, cassis, licorice, rose petals and sweet soil tones, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless palate, its powdery structuring tannins hidden in an ample core of lively, succulent fruit. From biodynamically farmed vineyards located on clay-limestone and gravel soils to the north of Château Latour (as well as a parcel of gravel sandwiched between Pichon-Baron and Lynch-Bages), this is a terrific effort from an estate that deserves to be much better known.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2060