Chateau Haut Brion 1er Grand Cru Classe, Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux, France 2018
Without doubt one of the outstanding wines of the vintage. Hugely concentrated and with a complex and layered profile that is quite beguiling. Superb!
|Grape Blend||Merlot 49%, Cabernet Sauvignon 39%, Cabernet Franc 12%|
There is a refreshing lack of pretension at Haut-Brion, whose intensely aromatic, concentrated fine red wines are consistently viewed as some of the very best in the entire Bordeaux region, including its fellow first growths of the Médoc.
Haut-Brion is also the least well-known of the first growths, and so its fine red wines rarely achieve a higher price than its contemporaries, which is good news for astute buyers. The Château was established atop two knolls or gravel croupes by the Pontac family in 1550 and has passed through five families since; being currently owned by the Dillon family. The real key to the estate's steadfast position amongst Bordeaux's elite has been the long, stable tenure of winemakers, particularly the (now late) legendary Jean-Bernard Delmas and his son, Jean-Philippe Delmas.
Without doubt one of the outstanding wines of the vintage. Hugely concentrated and with a complex and layered profile that is quite beguiling. Aromas of liquorice, black fruits, mint and tobacco. On the palate the fruit is very ripe, the tannins are robust, but create a fine platform for the flavours to revolve around the mouth, and the freshness on the finish is very long and with a slight saline tang. If a wine can be both intense and elegant then this is it. Superb!
"It holds back for the first few minutes, reticent to reveal what slowly uncoils to give wave after wave of exotic spices - cardamom, cassis, star anise and fenugreek - over an opulent core of red roses, Black Forest cake, warm cassis and black raspberries with nuances of cigar box, crushed rocks, truffles, tilled black soil, iron ore and smoked meats. The full-bodied palate is truly profound, with restrained black fruit and spice layers slowly offering mineral sparks and savory suggestions within a rock-solid frame of firm, super fine-grained tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing with epic length and depth." robertparker.com
"The 2018 Haut-Brion is a regal wine. Creamy, soft and inviting, the 2018 is one of the more open-knit young Haut-Brions I can remember tasting. Cedar, tobacco, smoke, licorice, grilled herbs, leather and menthol are nicely layered in the glass. In 2018, Haut-Brion is almost shockingly elegant at this very early stage. There is plenty of tannin, but it is totally woven into the wine's fabric." Antonio Galloni