79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot
Château Haut-Bages-Libéral 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 Cos 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 Château 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 5ème Cru Classé.
What The Critics Say
92-95/100 Vinous, Antonio Galloni
"The 2018 Haut-Bages Libéral takes all of the signatures of the property and turns them up to 11. Rich, ample and yet also incredibly refined, the 2018 is a total knock-out. Super-ripe red cherry, plum, cedar, tobacco and star anise infuse this powerful, sumptuous Pauillac. Even with normal yields of 45 hectoliters per hectare, Haut-Bages Libéral is a stunningly deep, potent wine. The blend is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot."
92/100 Decanter, Jane Anson
"A more unfussy than slick wine, less sumptuous than some as is often the case with this estate, but as you sit with it you start to realise there’s real quality here. It has a juiciness and integrity to the cassis and bilberry fruit, alongside brambles and hedgerows, with chewy tannins that build slowly through the palate providing a welcoming cushion of support. -- A good yield of 45hl/ha despite current conversions to biodynamics because Pauillac was hit later by mildew than the Villars-Lurton estates in Margaux. Certification expected in 2020. 40% new oak used." Drink 2026 - 2040
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