|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.
Composed of 48.7% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8.1% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Haut-Brion is deep garnet-purple in color. It waltzes out with flamboyant scents of wilted roses, star anise, mossy tree bark, and kirsch, leading to a core of blackcurrant pastille and stewed black plums. The full-bodied palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and lively acidity supporting the densely packed, muscular black fruit, finishing incredibly long and with a spicy lift. Give it 5-6 more years in bottle to really hit its stride and drink it over the next 40-years+.
The black cassis comes out of the glass, together with iodine, sandalwood and subtle moss and wet-bark undertones, then turning to violets. The palate is mind-blowing, with a cashmere texture that unravels on the palate and continues on for minutes. It’s full of superbly complex, ethereal character and mouth-feel, One of the wines of the vintage. As glorious as it may be to taste now, this is one for your deep cellar. Try in 2029.
Wafting from the glass with aromas of blackberries and plums mingled with notions of pencil shavings, burning embers and creamy new oak, the 2019 Haut-Brion is full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with a textural attack that segues into an ample and enveloping core of fruit, concluding with a long, expansive finish. Broad-shouldered and muscular, its rich, powdery tannins are already seamlessly integrated; and though it's labeled at 15% alcohol, far higher than the great vintages of yesteryear, it avoids any sense of over-ripeness. Drink Date 2033 - 2070
The 2019 Haut-Brion has an ethereal degree of transparency on the nose, perhaps the most delineated of all the 2019s, fabulous precision and detail considering the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with fine bone tannins, unerring symmetry and poise. Cohesive from start to finish with an extraordinarily persistent and compelling closing. Off the charts. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting. Drink 2028-2065.
A powerful, concentrated, muscular Haut-Brion, full of layers that will take years to fully uncover. Think liquorice, leather, crushed stones, smoked earth, bitter chocolate shavings, ripe and rich through the mid palate, both generous and finessed, with silky tannins that exert their influence without getting in the way of the sappy freshness that runs right through the wine. A seriously impressive vintage at this First Growth, one to put away and not think about for the next decade. Harvest September 10 to October 3.
Tasted blind. Mild, saline nose. Full-blown and with masses of appeal and alcohol. Hedonistic in the extreme. Already quite accessible. Exotic and difficult to spit! Long, rich but not heavy or sickly. 15%
The Grand Vin 2019 Château Haut-Brion checks in as a classic blend of 49% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Its deep purple hue is followed by a stunning bouquet of ripe black cherry and currant-like fruit as well as classic Graves cold fireplace, burning embers, tobacco, and cedar pencil. More regal, firm, and classically structured on the palate, this full-bodied beauty has a deep, concentrated mid-palate, building tannins, background oak, and a great, great finish. It's very much in the focused, elegant, yet still concentrated and powerful style of the vintage. It will need a solid decade of cellaring, but it’s a brilliant wine.
A blend of 48.7% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8.1% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Haut-Brion is deep garnet-purple colored. It needs lots of swirling to begin to unlock beguiling scents of iron ore, Indian spices, roses, wood smoke, and licorice over a core of blueberry preserves, warm cassis, and blackberry pie, plus a an earthy waft of underbrush. The medium to full-bodied palate starts off quiet and grows into a crescendo of black and blue fruits with uplifting floral and earth accents, framed by super-ripe, fine-grained tannins, and finishing with long, lingering, exotic spice sparks.
The 2019 Haut-Brion has an intense bouquet of blackberry, raspberry coulis, cedar, mint and black olive aromas vying for attention. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannins that belie the backbone, the arching structure of this Haut-Brion. Very persistent and very precise, showing a little more ambition and breeding than the La Mission this year, and a persistent, graphite-tinged, sapid finish. An opulent Haut-Brion and yet the pedigree is palpable. 14.6° alcohol. Drink 2030-2075.
The 2019 Haut-Brion is completely different to La Mission Haut-Brion, the two compared side-by-side in the course of 24 hours. It was picked from 10 September until 3 October at 53hl/ha. Initially it is riper, more extrovert and luxurious than its sibling, yet returning after four hours (when chatting to Jean-Philippe Delmas) it has transmogrified into a very different wine with intense black fruit, boysenberry, iodine, forest floor and potpourri. The palate is medium-bodied and like the nose, initially comes across quite exuberant. Four hours later it is a much more nuanced wine that begins in understated fashion before a crescendo of black fruit tinged with blood orange and Chinese 5-spice. It fans out and gains volume wonderfully on the finish. This is a sensual and almost flamboyant Haut-Brion.
2029 - 2070
The is very refined and elegant with a fine-tannined line running through the center of the palate. It’s very intense and precise. Full-bodied with great, tight fruit. This is subtle and complex, then it opens on the palate and shows incredible depth and intensity. Great length, going on and on for minutes.
The 2019 Haut-Brion is a blend of 48.7% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.1% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 10th of September to the 3rd of October. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14.5%. Displaying a deep garnet-purple color, it comes off incredibly shy and reticent to begin, needing considerable coaxing to reveal notes of dark chocolate-covered cherries, blackberry preserves, woodsmoke and sandalwood, before launching into a full-scale fireworks display of iron ore, cumin seed, redcurrant jelly, red roses, oolong tea and Sichuan pepper scents plus a waft of cardamom. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers the most exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins with a lively backbone of freshness supporting the tightly wound, earth-laced black fruit layers, finishing very long and minerally. This is one of the most finely structured, tightly knit wines of the vintage. Given time, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it goes atomic and eventually takes top place for the vintage.
Jean-Philippe Delmas describes the 2019 as having the structure of 2005 and the freshness of 2010 - a modern and richer version of the 1990! The blend is 48.7% Merlot, 8.1% Cabernet Franc and 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon with an estimated alcohol of 14.5%. We were unable to taste the 2019 before release this year.