Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2012 Tasting Notes
Tasted in September 2019, the appearance was clear, dark ruby. The tears were lightly stained ruby. Aromas consisted of black currant, red plum, pencil lead, red peppercorn, herbs, spice, chocolate, and wet leaves. The wine is still developing, with mostly primary and secondary aromas.
On the palate, the wine was dry, with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) fine-grained tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, pronounced flavor intensity. The wine had a long finish of black currant, chocolate, and herbs.
In conclusion, the quality was very good. One could drink now but it has the potential for aging another five or ten years. The price point is over $50. We drank the wine over a period of three days. The tasting notes were taken on day two - the wine was much more opened up on the second day. On the third day, the wine still had the same intensity.
Why does the Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2012 taste like this?
This wine comes from the Pessa-Léognan AOC, which is nestled to the west, southwest, and southern borders of the city of Bordeaux, FR. The red wines from this AOC are primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot that grow on typically well-drained gravely soil.
This particular estate grows 44% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon. The particular aromas and flavors, high acidity and medium (+) alcohol levels in this wine are the results of this blend (e.g. predominant Merlot and Cabernet Franc profile) as well as the cool maritime climate. Lastly, the wine is aged for about 8 months in 80% percent new oak. This wine does have more fruit-forward aromas than expected because 2012 had a very warm, dry summer.
If you like more fruit-forward vintages from Bordeaux, you might like wines like this. If you like the presence of both primary (grape, fermentation) and secondary (post-fermentation) aromas and flavors, you will like this 2012 vintage from this region now as some of the tertiary (maturation) aromas are just starting to emerge in 2019.
Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2012 Food Pairing
This wine’s Merlot and Cabernet Franc flavors makes it flexible to pair with a variety of meat and fish like tuna and salmon.
Classically, these blends are paired with with grilled foods, as well as dishes that could be described as earthy. Other good pairings might be soft cheese, smoked meats, and charcuterie.
Many people may not like this wine paired with strong blue cheeses, spicy foods, or delicate dishes.
Where to Purchase Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Wine
We purchased this wine from a bottle shop in St. Emilion, France. It can also be purchased at the estate.
You likely won’t find this wine at a local bottle shop in the US as this estate produces around 35,000 bottles per year. However, a wine shop may be able to order it for you online or through a distributor.