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Chateau Haut Bages Liberal 2021
Château: Chateau Haut Bages Liberal 2021

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Wine Advocate 93/100

Containing fully 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 Haut-Bages-Libéral offers up aromas of rich berries, plums, loamy soil, licorice and spices. Medium to full-bodied, lively and youthfully primary, with lively acids and powdery tannins that assert themselves on the finish, I suspect it will flesh out nicely with élevage to number among the sleepers of the vintage. Tasted twice. William Kelley

James Suckling 94-95

This is already open and delicious with cherry, cassis, blueberry and chocolate-orange character. Some peach notes, too. Medium to full body with velvety, ripe and plush tannins. Caressing, yet it remains firm and solid. Lovely, creamy finish. 90% cabernet sauvignon and 10% merlot. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification.

Vinous 92/100

The 2021 Haut-Bages Libéral contains the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ever, the Merlot having been affected by the mildew. Matured in 40% new oak, 40% one-year-old barrels and 20% amphorae, this is curiously Margaux-like, almost more than Durfort-Vivens! Floral and elegant, opening nicely with aeration without pushing the accelerator hard. The palate is medium-bodied and very smooth in texture, maybe just needing a little more tension, but there is decent weight and a cohesive, chalky finish. Very fine, though I lean more toward the Durfort-Vivens this year. Neal Martin

Decanter 93/100

Very aromatic on the nose, this has savoury, fruit and floral tones; liquorice, cola and earth with cranberries, strawberries and black cherries. Dense and quite darkly fruited on the palate but with a brightness from the acidity giving a mouthwatering attack before the flavours deepen and widen in the mouth. So many layers, really showing the Pauillac power: everything presented in high definition with a bold structure even though the individual elements are so precise and defined. It's racy and confident but also complex with a spiced cedar, clove, cinnamon, liquorice and wet stone/ chalky element to the tannins that fill the mouth and don't let go. A lovely wine with lots of potential from Claire Villars-Lurton! 65% grand vin. A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon - the highest percentage ever - and 10% Merlot, which usually comprises between 15 to 25% of the blend. 11.5% press wine. Ageing 16 months, 40% new oak, 40% one-year-old oak, 20% amphoras. Georgie Hindle