When I originally tasted the 2013 Les Carmes Haut Brion, I found it a difficult wine to assess. Having visited the property and seen the multi-million euro investment within the vineyard and Philippe Stark-designed winery, plus the reductive method of winemaker, I can understand why that might have been the case. Bottled one month prior to my visit, it has a very intense bouquet with macerated small dark cherries, crème de cassis and black olive. Frankly, you would not identify it as a 2013 due to the level of fruit concentration. The palate is medium-bodied with quite robust tannin on the entry. Crisp and pure, there is fine mineralité here in this wine, quite structured with a grip detectable at the back of the mouth, the finish quite linear and slightly saline. It is a very fine 2013 that should age for 12-18 years -- it is one of the very few 2013s that will need bottle age.
Patrice Pichet acquired the Carmes estate in late 2010. This investment had a hint of challenge about it, of course, but it was also driven by a genuine passion for wine harbouring the highest ambitions. The Château crafts its wines like great figures, developing unique characteristics, carefully honed temperaments, noble expression, and great potential. The top wine, the pride of the estate, has successfully created a synthesis between power and finesse, radiance, and depth.