Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal 2003

88 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 13%

Big hit of new oak on the nose.

This is atypical for HBL or for Pauillac, it’s a big ripe merlot-ish wine. Very 2003 but without baked flavours, just a big wine, low acid, soft tannins, a bit burly – it lacks the fruit purity and sophistication of recent vintages. But it is interesting to see how the winemaking team obviously reacted to the changed vintage conditions and made a different HBL than usual. Sort of New World like, but not sweet, nor simple, but available for early drinking (in spite of the oak).

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