Country: France Region: Bordeaux (Pauillac)
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon 80%, Merlot 17%, Petit Verdot 3%
Vintage: 2015 Colour: Red Style: Dry
Producer: Chateau Haut Bages Liberal
Chateau Haut Bages Liberal is one of the least known Pauillac estates but produces exemplary clarets at extremely competitive prices. Since 1983 it has been owned by the Taillan Group who also own Chasse-Spleen and Clos d'Estournel. It was run during the 80s and early 90s by Bernadette Villars and, since her death, has been run by her daughter, Claire.
The 29-hectare property is superbly sited in the south of the Pauillac appellation between Chateau Latour and the 2 Pichons. The vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon, 80%, Merlot 17%, Petit Verdot 3%) lie on deep gravel beds over limestone. The wines are matured in oak barriques (40% new) for 16-18 months. Since Claire Villars has been at the helm, the wines have become deeper in colour and more concentrated, with notable depth of fruit. It is classified as a 5eme Cru Classe.
Tasting Note:94 points James Suckling
Plenty of spicy, savory oak influence comes to the fore above a vibrant array of cassis, blackberries and plums. The palate has rich and powerful tannins that roll sturdy and long, carrying plenty of deep cherry and plum flavors. Filled out nicely, but still more to come. (2/2018)94 points Wine Enthusiast
This is one of the three biodynamic estates that are owned by Gonzague and Claire Lurton. The wine is generous while also firmly structured in the style of this property. A dense, dry core surrounded by blackberry and black-currant fruit promises great things. It finishes clean, clear and crisp. *Editor's Choice* (RV) (2/2018)92 points Vinous
The 2015 Haut-Bages Libéral is a bold, direct wine with lovely fruit intensity, good structure and fine overall balance. Today, the 2015 is quite closed in on itself, but there is good depth and persistence through the mid-palate and into the finish. It will be interesting to see if the 2015 acquires a bit more nuance and finesse over the coming years. (AG) (2/2018)91 points Decanter
Soft, smooth, deep fruit on the nose, with the oak being used to good effect. There's a flush of intensity to the black fruits - this is a wine for those who like cassis, cedar and liquorice, all delivered with a punch. It will need time to soften, but this is a good showing from Haut Bages Libérale. In biodynamic conversion. 40% new oak. (JA) (11/2017)90 points Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Château Haut-Bages Libéral (65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot brought up in 40% new oak) is an outstanding Pauillac that offers a little old-school vibe in its firm, focused, medium-bodied style and black fruits, earth, graphite and underbrush-driven aromas and flavors. It has impressive purity, integrated acidity, and notable tannin, and should be loved by classic Claret lovers. Give bottles 4-5 years and drink over the following 15. (11/2017)Jancis Robinson
Bright crimson. Lifted and quite intense on the nose. Sweet and polished with a bit of inky pencil shavings on the end. Some lusciousness. 17/20 points (JR) (10/2017)