The ambitious project named ‘Elements’ sees the launch of 1,000 meticulously handcrafted wooden presentation boxes each containing a different number and format of the estate’s wines.
Taking inspiration from the shape of the cellars, designed by Philippe Starck and Luc Arsène-Henry and completed in 2016, these unique showcases house either two double magnums, three magnums or six bottles that have been specially preserved in the estate’s cellars – a detail marked by a gold wax capsule and special ‘œnothèque’ seal guaranteeing their provenance.
During a special presentation at the château this week, general manager Guillaume Pouthier said Elements had been four years in the making, from conception to production, with the intention of capturing and sharing the DNA and philosophy of the estate and to transmit the essence of attention to detail in which the Carmes wines are made.
‘Each time we want to carry out a project that makes sense and that resembles us, both singular and unique,’ he said.
Aesthetic and practical, each case required more than 1,000 hours to create. Ancient oak wood was transformed into individual sheets and compressed to 2mm by the the Lécuiller company, which specialises in the fabrication of moulded wood and then skill fully shaped by the master craftsman of Créabois, located in Beychac et Caillau, Bordeaux.
The bottles sit neatly within a plexiglass support with wooden columns replicating those of the cellar itself. The boxes have also been hand etched with the Elements iteration (II, III or VI), the château’s emblem as well as the identifying number within the limited-edition range.
‘It was important for us to create something unique for the customer, made with the same shared artisanal approach and notion of precision,’ said Pouthier who also emphasised the importance of the ‘substantial investment and support of Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion’s owner Patrick Pichet’ in realising the project.
The Elements range:
Elements II – two double magnums of Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2018 and 2019 – 250 made (main picture above)
Elements III – three magnums of Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2017, 2018 and 2019 – 150 made
Elements VI – six bottles of Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion 2013, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017 and 2018 – 600 made
Each is accompanied by a booklet of information detailing the box’s manufacture process as well as technical sheets for each vintage enclosed.
The boxes, which are all the same size, were released 17th March 2022 and are being sold exclusively through Bordeaux négociant The Wine Merchant for a retail price of 8,000 euros including tax.
A production video is available to watch.
Elements follows in the footsteps of the estate’s previous innovative creation when, in 2019, they released 600 2.25 litre marie-jeannes containing the 2016 vintage presented in special plexiglass boxes protecting the bottles from light interference.
Despite the focus on the Elements launch, Pouthier revealed he has already planned the next project, destined for release in 2027.