Most Merlot on record for Haut-Brion 2012

8th April, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Graves-based first growth Château Haut-Brion has used the largest percentage of Merlot in its history with the 2012 vintage.

Château Haut-Brion

Château Haut-Brion

“With 65.5% Merlot in the 2012 vintage, it is the highest proportion of Merlot we have on record as going into the grand vin,” Domaine Clarence Dillon’s public relations manger Turid Hoel Alcaras told the drinks business.

“We had outstanding Merlot this year as we harvested it all before the October rains, but the Cabernet was more problematic as we had trouble with rotten grapes, so we decided to lead with Merlot,” she added. Her report echoed comments from the Right Bank, where producers hailed 2012 as a “classic” Merlot year.

Alcaras believes that despite the dominance of Merlot, the 14.9% abv 2012 vintage will age just as well as Haut-Brion’s Cabernet-dominant vintages.

“The 2012 vintage is dense and concentrated with well structured tannins and good acidity, so everything is in place for it to age incredibly well,” she told db.

Le Dragon de Quintus

Le Dragon de Quintus

“We’re lucky at Haut-Brion because we have equal plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, so it gives us the scope to play with percentages and adapt to the weather conditions of the vintage,” she added.

Alcaras feels the high percentage of Merlot in the blend has led to a rounder wine this year, though believes the terroir still speaks louder than the individual grape varieties.

“Even if you change the blend, the terroir is stronger than the grapes and comes through more powerfully in the wines. The terroir is the signature rather than the Merlot or the Cabernet,” she said.

While Alcaras is happy with the quality of the 2012 vintage of the grand vin, ranking it above 2011, she admitted that the quality of second wine Le Clarence de Haut-Brion was not as good as last year.

Meanwhile, this year will see the first release – 2011 – of Domaine Clarence Dillon’s latest acquisition: 15-hectare St Emilion grand cru estate Quintus, come onto the market.

Quintus’ second wine, Le Dragon de Quintus, is likely to appeal to the Asian market due to the inclusion of a golden winged dragon on the label.

“It’s early days and we’ve only made a very small amount of the wine, so we’ve yet to see how well the Le Dragon goes down in Asia yet,” Alcaras said.

St Julien fourth growth Château Beychevelle, which features a winged griffin at the head of a Viking ship on its label, is incredibly popular in Asia, with consumers referring to it as “dragon boat wine.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

European Brands Sales Manager, Field Sales Managers and Executives

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, Brighton, E Sussex/Kent, Cornwall & Devon, GB

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 3rd May 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more