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Haut Brion 2015

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc

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Tasting Notes

The 2015 Haut-Brion is a blend of 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc picked between 8 September and 5 October. Of course, it showed majestically out of barrel, so pressure was on in bottle. Deep in color, the bouquet is a real showstopper: blackberry, raspberry, sage, black olive and warm gravel...this is a profoundly complex bouquet that is nuanced and beautifully delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and ample freshness, but don’t be deceived because this is a very structured Haut-Brion built for the long-term. Remarkably the 14.9% alcohol is completely disguised. It feels incredibly long, and yet instead of fanning out, it shuts down the door on the finish. It is a behemoth of a wine, one that is up there with the legends of the past. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2070.

Neal Martin, March 2018

The 2015 Haut-Brion is composed of 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet in color, it rolls out of the glass with a youthful, still primary core of juicy black plums, crushed blackcurrants, and boysenberries, before revealing evocative notes of iron ore, violets, dark chocolate, and licorice with a waft of tar. The full-bodied palate is packed with muscular black fruits and lots of mineral nuances, framed by very firm, very fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. Stunning!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, November 2022

The 2015 Haut Brion is a perfect wine that couldn’t be any better and is certainly at the top of this great vintage. A blend of 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc, this full-bodied, concentrated, backward, yet sensationally pure 2015 boast knockout notes of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, ground herbs, and graphite, with a terrific damp earth/minerality quality emerging with time in the glass. Straight, focused, and built like a skyscraper, with a stacked mid-palate, forget bottles for 7-8 years and enjoy over the following three to four decades. 2025 - 2060

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, November 2017

This is all about seduction and beauty with tobacco, berries, tea and wet earth. Full-bodied, round and sexy. Love the polished and beautiful tannins. Racy and refined. Try in 2023.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2018

Tasted blind. Bright crimson. Pretty jazzy array of exotic aromas. Draws you in. Very sweet – too sweet – on the palate to be digestible. Reminds me of a joss stick. Very pinched on the end. Charred, drying effect on the palate. Thick and dramatic. 14.9%
Drink 2028-2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2019

Without doubt one of the world's greatest and most individual wine estates. The family traditions continue here with Jean-Philippe Delmas running the wine-making as his father and grandfather did before him and Clarence Dillon's great-grandson Robert de Luxembourg in overall charge of this wonderful property. Haut Brion - unlike the other First Growths - has never had a bad period and, for our money, is the most consistently great wine of Bordeaux. Since 1958 it has been bottled in the unique Haut Brion bottle. In 2015 it is made from 50% Merlot with 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc. Jean-Philippe says that it is like the 2005 but with riper tannins. His father says it reminds him of the young 1985 or even the 1959. Deep purple colour. The nose is sultry and subtle, with smoky cedar, allspice, brooding cassis and a light licquorice and coffee note. Very complex as it unravels its aromas. The palate is silky smooth on entry with black cherry and blackcurrant at the core. As the intensity builds on the mid palate, notes of chocolate, vanilla and a mineral edge all become apparent. There are plentiful, but very refined and ripe tannins on the palate which perfectly frame the fruit, adding to the persistence of purity on the finish. There is a precision and harmony here to pair with the expansive intensity. Outstanding.

Farr Vintners, March 2016

Brooding depth the nose has rich ripe black fruits the palate is fleshy and supple black plum and black cherry underpinned by dark chocolate. Underlying freshness fine tannins there is a balance of sweet fruit and freshness complexity. Sweet fruit at the back depth of flavour richness yet the finish is bilberry fresh slightly lighter stylish long and elegant.

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

This is an Haut-Brion to stick away in the cellar and forget about for a decade or more. Thick, compact and very concentrated, it doesn’t win many points for elegance and finesse, but will soften and flesh out with age. The flavours - plum, damson and blackberry - are just a little jammy, yet the acidity freshens the finish. Drink: 2028-40

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

Haut-Brion takes on the role of a fruit-driven (if one can call it that) temptress by comparison to the brutally tannic La Mission. Of course there is more power here and this is just an illusion, but this wine has so much allure and refinement of red fruit draped over a monumental core it is heart-stopping. The wines from Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion in 2015 are so different from the norm it is incredible. The quality of the tannins is mystifying. This is thrilling wine which is so intense and yet so splendid and powerful it takes my knowledge of this estate to another level by giving us a shape, size, aroma and flavour which is found nowhere else on earth.

Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2016
Read more tasting notes...

A blend of 50% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Haut-Brion is reticent to begin, languidly revealing crushed black cherries, ripe black plums and wild blueberries with sparks of cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg, espresso, unsmoked cigars, tapenade, crushed rocks and lavender. The full-bodied palate possesses wonderfully complementary contrasts of bold black and blue fruit richness and delicately nuanced cherry fruit, baking spices and floral accents, strutting ripe, finely pixelated tannins and seamless acidity that is placed firmly in the background, finishing very long and with plenty of attitude. This impeccably poised, exquisitely perfumed 2015 Haut-Brion possesses the most alluring yet seemingly effortless beauty. While it bears only a passing resemblance in its opulent personality to the now legendary 1989, like that vintage the 2015 cannot fail to hedonically satiate and intellectually edify all lovers of great Bordeaux who drink it. What’s more, it also has the blue-blooded tenaciousness to remain this jaw-droppingly impressive, throughout its many guises over time, and for a very, very long time.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim Fe), February 2018

The 2015 Haut Brion, a blend of 50% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, was picked between 8 September and 5 October, and is matured in the same level of new oak (78%) and IPT (75) as the La Mission. It has a heavenly bouquet that like the La Mission bestows instant gratification - a veritable kaleidoscope of aromas so crystalline that you can pick them out one by one: dark plum, blackcurrant, Kalamata olive and graphite. It is tempting to just nose this all day. The palate has an indescribably stunning balance and like the La Mission, there is a paradoxical sense of intensity married to weightlessness. Everything here is so precise, so pure and yet as it crescendos towards the finish, it offers a profundity that is unmatched across Bordeaux in this vintage. Having had the pleasure of many great wines from this estate in the past - 1945, 1955, 1959, 1961 and 1989 - the 2015 belongs among that pantheon. Drink 2030-2075.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

A structured and powerful Haut-Brion with so much finesse and beauty. Complex and long. It’s full and ultra-refined. Super length and polish. A formed and sexy Haut Brion.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

Much more aromatic than La Mission. Lovely silky tannins but masses of them. Very strict and savoury. Really dense but manages to be expressive and convincing. A megalith. 14.9%
Drink 2030-2055

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.