An entertaining Saint Estephe wine which offers a lot of pleasure and satisfaction

Haut Marbuzet

  2018h 27

In the cellar of Haut Marbuzet  with the famous slogan of Henri Duboscq printed on the wall  - "Quality is true me"

2018h 28

Haut Marbuzet is enjoying an extremely favourable location close to Gironde river

This property can be traced to 1815, when family Mac Carthy, Jacobins from Irland were the owners. Because of problems to pass the vineyard to next generation, they were forced to sell in pieces in 1854. In this way Poissonnier family got 9 ha in their hands. This vineyard plot was later named Haut Marbuzet. Approximately 100 year later, in 1952, Herve Duboscq purchased several vineyard plots, in all 7 ha. His dream was to recreate the original vineyard from Mac Carthy's time of ownership. 10 years later, his son, Henri Duboscq, joined him and in 2005 the vineyard has reached whole 66 ha through the purchase of additional plots from neighbouring vineyards over the years. Today (2019) the vineyard area is 75 ha.

Haut Marbuzet is situated on the same hills as Montrose and Meyney, overlooking Gironde River. The vineyard is planted with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The soil here is typical of the commune - gravel of the bed of clay and limestones. Vines are on average 30 years old. The wine matures in 100% new oak for 15 months.

I remember visiting this property regularly in the 1990s, when they had a young English woman Rachel, pretty and charismatic daughter of some high profile wine-merchant in London, doing her wine training and customer care at Haut Marbuzet. You could say that she and excellent wine quality attracted quite many people to visit Haut Marbuzet!

Henri Duboscq, the owner, has always compared his wines to beautiful women like f.i. Sophia Loren, Marylin Monroe and Julia Roberts.  In his words, his wine should be captivating and sexy, have flesh and be packed in silk.  A wine of this quality can't be resisted, can it?!

I remember him also saying a famous quote with a twinkle in his eyes - "Haut Marbuzet is Henri Duboscq in the first two years (smiling and charming), then the next 15 years it's Saint-Estephe with no rough edges!"

Not surprisingly, the style here is catchy, attractive and fruity wines with great deal of elegance and finesse, intensity and length. Captivating and sensual wines. Not so concentrated and firm as Meyney and Phelan Segur, but more delicate and elegant.

Haut Marbuzet is a great qpr for money and its quality equals several classified Crus'.

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2018 HAUT MARBUZET (barrel sample) 93-94p

Tasted in April 2019. 13.5% alcohol, 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Very seductive, sexy, fruity, well-defined wine with a lot of elegance and finesse. Very impressive indeed and for me the best vintage for the property in the last 25 years. 

2017 HAUT MARBUZET (barrel sample) 91p

Tasted in October 2018. 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Silky texture, velvety fruit and tannin, aromatic, with fine composition and length. Captivating stuff.

2016 HAUT MARBUZET 93p

Tasted in October 2018. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Seamless structure, great intense aroma of perfectly ripe blackberries/black cherries and violets, sophisticated touch and great complexity. Impressive effort.

2015 HAUT MARBUZET 92p

Tasted in October 2018. 50% CS, 40% M, 5% CF and 5% PV. Only 13.5% alcohol here, succulently sweet, well-balanced and with great finesse. Very attractive wine indeed! 

2010 HAUT MARBUZET (barrel sample) 91-92p

Tasted in April 2011. Showed brilliantly with aromatic intensity, chocolaty flavours, ripe berries, fine concentration, depth and finish.

1990 HAUT MARBUZET 93p

Tasted many times since release - last time in October 2014. Consistent notes! This wine has been a pure delight from the first time I tasted it. 24 years after its birth it still catches attention. Delicious nose of sweet blackcurrants, very attractive and captivating on the nose and palate, exquisite balance, velvety texture and firm fruity finish. On its apogee now but will easily keep on like that until 2024.

1989 HAUT MARBUZET 90p

Tasted in June 1990. Dark red, exotic on the nose, deep and intense, catchy fruit sweetness, tasty with exotic fruit, long silky finish. Entertaining wine for sure!

1985 HAUT MARBUZET 92p

Tasted in June 1990. Rich and exotic, elegant with finesse. Superb balance, catchy sweetness. A true heartbreaker wine!

1982 HAUT MARBUZET 90p

Tasted in June 1990. Very attractive and catchy wine which immediately draws your attention with perfectly ripe fruit, striking sweetness and silky texture. Sexy wine by all means!

Latest news

 NEW! Two more chateau profiles added - Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse and L'Eglise Clinet. Check both out in "Chateau Profiles" under Saint-Emilion respectively Pomerol.

1. I spent two weeks in Bordeaux in April 2022 to taste 2021 vintage from the barrel. A review of 300+ tasted barrel samples - "2021 BORDEAUX FROM BARREL" in "VINTAGES".

2. Impressions from my trip to Bordeaux in November 2021 are here - chapter "2021 Bordeaux visits" in "VINTAGES". Additional TNs from barrel samples of 2020 vintage tasted in Bordeaux - chapter "2020 FROM BARREL", in "VINTAGES".

3. 2019 vintage's TNs on 85 wines tasted in Bordeaux in November 2021 plus additional TNs on 120+ wines tasted in Copenhagen during January-March 2022 are published. Check out chapter "2019 BARREL/BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

4. Tasting notes concerning the 2018 vintage on wines tasted from the bottle in Bordeaux in November 2021- chapter "2018 IN BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

5. The Burgundy blog in the News chapter is a new feature, including impressions from Burgundy tastings/tasting dinners attended since November 2018. It'll also have impressions on tasted wines from Beaujolais' best winegrowers. I explored this wine area in April 2022 while tasting Morgon Cote du Puy from five producers in 2018 and 2019. A tasting of top cuveés from the same producers took place in mid-June 2022. The report will be published in September 2022.

6. In addition to my website, I also post tasting notes to an excellent website run by Pekka Nuikki from Finland, www.tastingbook.com, where I have 11.400+ followers and published 2.950+ TNs by primo September 2022. Tastingbook.com users have voted me as nr. 24 in the 2022 competition of "The best wine critic in the world".