The 2009 Clarence de Haut-Brion has a refined and elegant bouquet with pure red fruit, undergrowth, clove and leather, perhaps just a little brettanomyces becoming more obvious with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, rounded in texture with truffle and leather infused red fruit. There is fine grip on the finish and it should continue to age extremely well in bottle. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2038
Robert Parker 92
The second wine, the 2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, is almost as large a cuvee as the grand vin. This 7,000-case cuvee is a blend of 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest small quantities of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Once again the burning ember/scorched earth characteristic that often comes from Haut-Brion is found in the second wine, along with more kirsch and cassis, fewer nuances and less complexity than its bigger sibling. The wine is full-bodied with the minerality offered by this terroir as well as plenty of sweet tannins. This is the finest second wine Haut-Brion has produced since the astonishing 1989 Bahans-Haut-Brion. Enjoy it over the next two decades.