Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal (Grand Cru Classe en 1855, 5th growth), Pauillac, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, 2010
I thought that it would interesting to try a decent left bank claret before it was truly ready to drink, and it wasn’t, but will give it really good decanting to bring things on, pump the air out, keep it in a cool place for a week, then try again. Natural cork closure, 13.5%, widely available, about £40
Post mortem after 2 days: quite rounded out now with the sharp edge off the tannins, with lots of black berried fruits, now with added dark chocolate and a whiff of smoke. Need to have another bottle from BBR to keep for another 2-3 years, and try again.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas of lifted ripe black currant and blackberry, a hint of violet, a note of black boiled sweets and low-key oak in the background.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) grippy tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, of medium (+) intensity, with flavours of ripe sweet blackcurrant, blackberry, plum, a savoury note, with more oak than on the palate. A long length with plenty of black fruit, with a clean moderately grippy finish and a slight greenness/bitterness at the end.
Quality: a good quality wine with fresh acidity, and oak which needs time to better integrate and tannins to round off. A wine with good intensity and concentration of flavour, starting to develop, but needs more time, and will benefit from ageing for a further 3-5 years.