In the glass, The Château Larrivet Haut-Brion 2009 is comprised of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. The grapes were hand-harvested, fermented in thermo-regulated stainless-steel tanks, and matured for 14 months in barriques, one third of them new.
In the glass, the wine is nearly black at the core, with a deep heart of cordovan, and flashes of burnished mahogany at the edge. When the wine is first poured, compelling aromas of mission figs, Jamaican tobacco, mulled cherries, and applewood smoke emerge, trading places with crushed violets, Niçoise olives, black truffles and sweet spices as the nose evolves in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is simultaneously voluptuous and weightless: juicy, fleshy, and long, with an elegant sweet core of pure black-cherry fruit and exotic spices, and just enough soft plum-skin tannic intrigue at the finish to bring you back for an immediate double-checking sip. This is a great classic wine to drink now through its anticipated maturity of 2020 – 2035.
About this wine producer: Covering 72 hectares in the gravelly, sandy soils of Pessac-Leognan, this estate has a higher percentage of Merlot (55%) than most in the area. The rest is Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), and Cabernet Franc (5%). The average vine age is 25 years following many years of replanting.
Vinification is in steel, malo-lactic in vats, and the resulting wine is aged in new (70% on average) and neutral barrels. Michel Rolland was overseeing the production until 2013. Currently, Stéphane Derenoncourt is the consulting oenologist.