|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
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 is one of the most consistently great wine of Bordeaux. Since 1958 it has been bottled in the unique and iconic Haut Brion bottle. Situated in the suburbs of the city of Bordeaux, the 48 hectares of red grape varieties are planted with 45% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The second wine used to be known as "Bahans Haut Brion" but is now called "Clarence Haut Brion". Under the same ownership is neighbour La Mission Haut Brion and Quintus in St Emilion.
The 2017 Haut-Brion is a blend of 53% Merlot, 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6.3% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet in color, it has an almost impenetrable nose to begin, requiring a lot of coaxing to unlock notes of blackcurrant cordial, baked black plums, and Morello cherries, followed by suggestions of tar, crushed rocks, cast-iron pan, and candied violets with a touch of garrigue. The full-bodied palate has powerful latent energy that is poised to explode, framed by super-fine-grained tannins and beautifully balanced acidity, finishing with amazing length and lots of layers. "We did a lot of selection between the 2nd label and the grand vin this year," said Jean-Philippe Delmas.
Tasted blind. Deep ruby colour. Blueberry fruit and fine, sweet spice with a little charred wood. Full bodied, with an earthy, smoky fruit core. This is plush, exotic and full of spice. Richly structured with mouth-coating, chewy tannins. Powerful.
Drink 2027 – 2042
This is extremely aromatic and perfumed with crushed-berry, flower, currant and orange-peel character. Full-bodied, very tight and focused with fabulous depth and density that brings you down through the wine. Deep and serious. Very classic wine that reminds me of top Haut-Brions of the mid-1980s. Try after 2025
A hugely captivating wine, one of the contenders for red of the vintage. There's an incredible plush, dense texture to the fruit here, with just the slightest pulling back on the final section that suggests the damson, cassis and black cherry fruit is not at the full extent of ripeness seen in 2016 and 2015, but there is absolutely no question that this is a successful, rich and well-expressed wine. It's extremely powerful and well constructed, with great tannins and a succulence which grows through the palate. 3.73pH.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
Colour of black cherries with healthy crimson rim. Warm oak spice over cool dark fruit. Succulent, mouth-watering and so supple. There's a core of pure black fruit and an elegance in both non-sweet fruit and fine-boned structure but all with a discreet generosity. Needs time to meld but it's magnetic in its attraction. Perhaps a little less rich than La Mission but more intense and persistent at this stage.
Concentrated fruit the nose has a rich mix of black fruits the palate cassis and black cherry depth of flavour. It is more restrained at the back fragrance and freshness fine tannins the finish long stylish and elegant. Drink 2027 - 2040.
This is another heroic Haut-Brion and like its partner across Avenue Jean Jaurès it has a tannin structure and freshness which are uniquely appealing. There is more stern fruit here and it is straight-jacketed in strict tannins and bold brushstrokes of acidity. The flavour is a little reluctant to emerge and yet there is spice here and also both red and black fruit (whereas La Mission focussed more on the black side). There is also a lovely tender floral scent which hovers over the glass. It is a key to the fascinating top notes which will undoubtedly emerge given time. 2017 Haut-Brion will need a long while to slumber before it is ready to perform, so do not be in a hurry.
A blend of 53% Merlot, 6.3% Cabernet Franc and 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Haut-Brion sashays gracefully out of the glass with fragrant notions of black raspberries, kirsch, dark chocolate, star anise and candied violets with a core of warm red and black currants and a touch of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with red and black fruit layers, superbly supported by firm, ripe, finely grained tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. Drink 2023-2057.
A tight and focused red with dark-berry, chocolate and hazelnut character. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a linear and fine finish. Very refined. Elegant and balanced.
Composed of 53% Merlot, 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.3% Cabernet Franc, the very deep purple-black colored 2017 Haut-Brion is a little closed on the nose, revealing fresh blackberries, black currants and dark chocolate with suggestions of pencil shavings, beef drippings, tilled soil and cracked black pepper plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, it has very firm, ripe, grainy tannins and a lively backbone structuring the tightly knit earth and black fruit layers, finishing with compelling mineral and perfumed layers.