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Château Haut-Condissas 2009

Deep ruby; tight rim. Viscosity creating rolling tears on the glass gives movement and vibes. Pretty view.

Intense primary aromas of ripe dark/red cherries, blueberries, as well as olives, figs, liquorice, juxtapositioned by soft chocolate cum expresso tones balanced by scents of earth, spice and integrated tannins. Bodied and rich by Medoc standard; finishes pure and long. Slight decanting suggested.

Château Haut-Condissas is a rare find. Hailed by Parker et al. as having Cru standard of quality, it is by now an iconic "Vin de Garage" - known for tiny quantity and small yield - offering a concentration of flavours. Taking its name from the street it located on, Château Haut-Condissas' sibling vineyards are Chateau Rollan de By, Chateau Tour Seran, Chateau Greysac, which were CB favourites during merchant days.

Earlier, Château Haut-Condissas was Cabernet-based. It has been changed to Merlot majority because most of the vines are on clay soil. Now, this 2009 is made from 60% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot(hence the colour and intensity), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Size is mere 15 HA; output is only 40 hl/HA(hence the dense palate); less than 6000 cases for vintage 2009.

Vintage age is mostly 30 years-old; some are over 40 years-old; vine density is 8500 HA, hence the intensity. Stainless steel fermentation in conically shaped vats, so there are lots of forwarding fruit. Malolactic fermentation is in 100% new, French oak barrels, hence the power. Vineyard management techniques are focused on sustainable farming, therefore healthy grapes.

Alain Raynaud is the consultant for the estate. Ageing, for 18 months, is in 100% new oak barrels, with a combination of 90% new, French barrels and 10% new American oak barrels, so a hint of sweet spice with elegant bread tones.

Great scores, like WS93. Also, RP93, Wine Advocates, as follows:

The 2009 Haut-Condissas possesses terrific concentration, perfect balance, and lots of black currant and blueberry fruit intermixed with forest floor, incense, and cedarwood. Viscous, rich, fullbodied flavors with abundant glycerin as well as fine elegance and purity reflect a top-notch effort. —R.P.

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