As it closes in on age 20, the 2002 Haut-Brion is beginning to drink very well, opening in the glass with aromas of blackcurrants, plums, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, burning embers and violets. Fleshing out considerably with an hour or two in the decanter, it's medium-bodied, vibrant and concentrated, exemplifying the ideal of intensity without weight, with a deep core of fruit framed by powdery tannins and lively acids. An underrated wine that has rewarded patience, the 2002 Haut-Brion confirms that great terroirs over-perform in cooler, more challenging years. 2020 - 2045
Aromas of minerals, forest floor, fresh mushrooms, plums, and currants are present in the moderately fragrant bouquet. Angular, with hard tannin, medium body, and sweet plums as well as currants, this 2002 is harder and tougher-textured than from barrel. Like many 2002s, it is reserved and angular at present. It remains to be seen whether it will flesh out and reveal more charm and succulence. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.
Tasted blind at Farr's 2002 Bordeaux tasting. Very good intensity on the nose with blackberry, black olive, gravel and hot bricks/cedar. Great definition. The full-bodied palate is very dense and sturdy with gripping tannins. Very precise, obviously a lot of craftsmanship, but not as complex as some of the other First Growth '02s with autumn leaves fluttering down upon the elegant finish. A lovely wine to drink rather than intellectualize over. Tasted October 2009.
Drink 2011-19 Round and heady and easy, real depth and interest. Juicy. Very long.
Whether it’s a coincidence, or because in relatively cool years the first-growth terroirs are brilliant, Haut-Brion has turned out a beautifully classic, medium-bodied, precise and focused 2002 boasting a deep ruby/purple color as well as strikingly elegant aromatics (crushed stones, plums, black cherries, currants, figs, and earth). The wine possesses impressively measured power and elegance offered in a medium-bodied, nicely-structured, exceptionally pure format. It is unusual for Haut-Brion to dominate La Mission Haut-Brion at such a young age, but it certainly does in the 2002 vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2024
Starting to get strong La Mission notes on the nose already. The bouquet is developing quite rapidly and again no great density on the palate though good balance and a very fresh, brisk wine for relatively early drinking (because it is not too intense). Nothing out of place but a three-quarter helping of everything,Drink 2010-20