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100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

There is a huge difference between a good (or even great) wine and a heavenly blend of perfected fruit nectar concoctions. Only the finest wines can even get close to receiving the coveted 100-point score, a mark of quality that propels the producers into an elite club of world-class artisans. A single taste of one of these masterpieces can turn a normal person into a passionate wine aficionado, as these bottles each provide a unique, soul-enriching experience. Everything has to be perfect to justify a 100-point score; the texture, elegance, and complexity of the design, the carefully crafted flavor combination, and many other qualities.

Every blend from this glorious court can singlehandedly serve as the centerpiece of your collection – a sentiment amplified by how difficult and expensive most of them can be to acquire. That’s where we come in. As a top-class wine retailer, we aim to guide you through the enchanting world of excellent wines, as your childlike wonder awakens anew in the face of these mouth-watering works of art. Our goal is to help you understand what makes these wines so desirable among passionate enthusiasts and eventually get your hands on them. There is a perfect blend for everyone in the world, and finding yours can be a life-changing moment. Let’s explore this
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1982 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

A monumental wine, this historic La Mission-Haut-Brion was the last vintage made by the descendants of the Woltner family, who had owned this estate for decades prior to selling it to their neighbors, the Dillon family (the American owners of cross-street rival, Chateau Haut-Brion). The 1982 admirably demonstrates the magnificence of La Mission as well as the singularity of this amazing terroir. I had the good fortune of tasting it from barrel (where it was an enormous Graves fruit bomb) and watching it develop more nuances in bottle. At age 30, it remains a majestic, multidimensional, profound Bordeaux with another 20-30+ years of life ahead of it. It’s no secret that the great vintages of Bordeaux have levels of fruit extract and depth that go beyond other years. It is this fruit, often referred to as “fat” or “concentration,” that takes decades to dissipate and fade. As it does so, the extraordinary aromatic expression of the terroir asserts itself. Remarkably, the 1982 is still in late adolescence and has not yet reached its peak. Early in my career, much of my reputation was established on calling this vintage correctly, but I never in my wildest dreams thought the 1982s would mature as slowly and last as long as some seem capable of doing. One of the handful of perfect wines of the vintage, the La Mission still possesses a remarkably dense ruby/purple color with only a slight garnet and lightening at the edge. The fruit-dominated aromatics reveal lots of cassis, blueberry, scorched earth, black truffle, incense, graphite and high-class, unsmoked cigar tobacco-like notes. Still exhibiting remarkable concentration, enormous body, silky sweet tannin, and no perceptible acidity, the 1982 remains fresh, delineated and super-compelling. A massive La Mission made by the Dewravin family and their winemakers, all of whom were dismissed the following year when the estate was acquired by Haut-Brion, this modern day legend shows no signs of decline. In fact, it may not have yet reached its peak. Anticipated maturity: now-2060+.Robert Parker | 100 RPLa Mission really does have its own character. Full body with velvety tannins with hints of berry, gravel and iodine. Some may not like the later but it tells you it’s La Mission. What a wine. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSThe register of notes changes as we head to Pessac-Léognan. This is one of the most open on display, with a warmth to the fruit that showcases cloves and spices full of tertiary end-of-summer-fruit goodness. A beautiful wine, but just a tiny bit brittle on the finish, this is not quite living up to the pedigree that it has shown on other tastings. We in fact opened a second bottle, served in a decanter (the rest were all in bottle), but it still remained just a nudge behind the others.Decanter | 94 DECThe 1982 La Mission Haut-Brion is a vintage that I have tasted several times. This bottle has a gorgeous, eucalyptus-tinged bouquet of black fruit plus hints of clove and bay leaf; a light marine scent emerges with aeration. The palate has a ripe pastille-like quality, dark cherries commingling with blackberry and cranberry. A lovely saline undertow lends sapidity on the harmonious finish. This does not equal the 1982 Haut-Brion and may have reached its peak in the late 1990s, but it remains the best La Mission Haut-Brion since the 1978. Tasted at the La Mission Haut Brion dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 94 VMSlightly rustic, but firm and youthful. Dark ruby color. Beautiful aromas of berries and stones, with a hint of black truffles. Medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, spicy-stony finish.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Best from 2000 through 2010.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

100
RP
As low as $16,995.00
1989 haut brion Bordeaux Red

(Château Haut-Brion) It had been more than a decade since I last tasted a bottle of the 1989 Haut-Brion (having absolutely zero interest in opening any bottles out of my cellar before this wine has fully apogee), so I was very happy to see it on display at the Hart-Davis-Hart tasting. This is a brilliant wine that has not lost an iota of its luster as it has aged, soaring from the glass in a brilliantly pure and bottomless bouquet of cassis, dark berries, cigar smoke, a very complex base of dark soil tones, Cuban cigars, fresh herbs and a refined base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and stunningly plush on the attack, with a sappy core of pure fruit, stunning soil signature, ripe, firm tannins and simply brilliant length and grip on the still very young, seamless and boundless finish. This wine has often been compared to the 1959 Haut-Brion, but I have to believe that the 1989 will be even better when it reaches its peak of maturity! This is still a very young wine (far less evolved than the superb 1990) and I would not touch a bottle for at least another dozen years or more. It should last close to a century. (Drink between 2025-2100).John Gilman | 100 JGThis continues to be a perfect wine with a beautiful, dense character of tobacco and sweet fruits. Chocolate, toasted walnuts and flowers here too. It’s full-bodied with velvety tannins. Lasts for minutes on the palate.James Suckling | 100 JSA spectacular wine that only goes from strength to strength, and which ranks among the pinnacles of my birth year vintage, the 1989 Haut-Brion wafts from the glass with a rich bouquet of blackberries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, black truffle, burning embers and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s sumptuous and dramatic, with huge reserves of fruit that are complemented by carnal, savory nuances and framed by melting tannins and ripe acids. Concluding with a long, resonant finish, the only criticism one can make is that a 750-milliliter bottle simply isn’t enough.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPWhat a gorgeous, seductive and beautiful wine, as always. I can’t get over the perfumed aromas of subtle milk chocolate, cedar and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, yet so refined and silky, lasting for minutes on the palate. Everything is in just the right proportion. This is a wine that will go on forever. I love it. One of my great loves in the wine world.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSThe 1989 Haut-Brion is very, very good. All the telltale Haut-Brion signatures of dark fruit, minerals, herbs, gravel and spice are present, but this bottle is lacking the textural opulence and depth of the best examples. Readers who have had the 1989 know what an epic wine it usually is.Antonio Galloni | 97 AG

100
RP
As low as $3,499.00
1998 haut brion Bordeaux Red

Still incredibly youthful and sporting a lot of fruit, the deep garnet-brick colored 1998 Haut-Brion sashays out of the glass with flamboyant red and black fruits, followed by a train of cassis, blueberry pie and chocolate box notions plus accents of iron ore, dried lavender and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully rich and decadently seductive in its generosity of fruit and velvety texture, offering seamless freshness and finishing with epic length and compelling minerality. Oh so delicious right now, with careful cellaring it should continue to excite through 2045 and beyond.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPDark color, with decadent aromas of truffles, meat, ripe berries and tobacco. Turns to sweet, crushed berries. Full-bodied, with very polished tannins and a berry and mineral aftertaste. The serious tannin structure is still hiding behind the fruit of the wine. Tightly wound and beautiful. Solid as a rock. A classic wine.—’88/’98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2011. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSThe 1998 Haut Brion has long been a favourite vintage of mine and consumed with pleasure several times. Now at 20-years of age I feel it is one step ahead of the 1998 La Mission: there is great fruit intensity with almost precocious blackberry, raspberry coulis, pastilles, tobacco and hints of olive. It has exquisite delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with fuller in the mouth than the La Mission: deeper fruit (blackberry, mulberry and a touch of strawberry) intermingling with sage, cedar and a touch of hung game. It is not quite as precocious or as glossy on the finish as I remember previous bottles, but it is certainly turning into one of the finest wines of this vintage. Tasted at the château.Vinous Media | 96 VMThe Haut-Brion showed super decadent character with foie gras, plums and tobacco. It was full body, round and beautifully textured. It lasted for minutes after tasting.James Suckling | 96 JSNo written review provided. | 96 W&S(Château Haut Brion) The 1998 Haut Brion is tight and very shut down at the present time, but offers lovely potential for down the road. The bouquet offers up a primary and typically “weedy” young Haut Brion blend of dark berries, dark chocolate, tobacco leaf, a touch of nuttiness, a bit of the herbal funk of young cabernet in the Graves and a judicious framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep, racy and quite dumb, with fine mid-palate depth, lovely focus and excellent length on the ripely tannic and well-balanced finish. This wine is completely closed at the present time and will need at least a dozen years or more to begin to emerge from hibernation, but will be a lovely bottle for a long time once it begins to blossom. (Drink between 2020-2060)John Gilman | 93 JG

100
RP
As low as $795.00
2000 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

One of the wines of the vintage, the 2000 has barely budged in its evolution since it was bottled and released in 2002. After ten years in bottle, it still reveals a dense opaque purple color along with a potentially sensational bouquet of blueberries, black currants, graphite, asphalt and background oak. Extremely powerful, full-bodied and superbly concentrated with good acidity and high but round tannins, this massive La Mission-Haut-Brion should take its place among this estate’s most hallowed vintages when it hits full maturity in another one to two decades. I was surprised by just how youthful this wine tasted at age 12. If tasted blind, I would have guessed it to be around 4 to 5 years old. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe colour here is deep and dense – just beginning to soften towards brick red - without a huge colour change from the rim to the centre. The fruit character is rich and plummy, with autumnal damson and blackberry notes alongside supple tannins. There is clear aromatic intensity, and floral edges, that become more intense over time – a great indicator of something special going on. Dark fruit flavours and cigar leaf nuances complete what is a delicious wine, at the perfect moment to launch into the next phase of its life. Drinking Window 2019 - 2045Decanter | 98 DECThe 2000 La Mission Haut-Brion is a vintage that I have not tasted for several years. At age 21, it has retained its youthful nose of vivid black cherries, wild strawberry and iodine, and shows less of the black olive tapenade element that I noticed in its youth. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins that belie that backbone of this La Mission. Beautifully balanced and quite peppery, with fine salinity, it is less sauvage than many other millennial Bordeaux, leading to a succulent, sensual finish. This is only just beginning to show what it is capable of. 13.4% alcohol. Tasted at the château with Jean-Philippe Delmas.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis is tight and beautiful, with a firm tannin structure and a beautiful silky texture. Full and concentrated, with a destiny. In the glass it keeps evolving, notes of iodine, spices, cedar, and earth tempt the senses. This still needs some time to come together. Don’t touch it until 2015.James Suckling | 95 JSSometimes it seems as if La Mission is as good as Haut-Brion - that was certainly the case in 2001. But in 2000, La Mission fitted more comfortably into its usual good neighbor slot. That is not to suggest it is not a great wine - the score indicates that. At the moment, it is closed, solid and chunky, but all the right hints are there, and it will develop slowly and in a sustained way over many years.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEMore range here, with fresh bay and warm tapenade notes leading the way for a well-packed core of macerated fig, black currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Plenty tarry on the back end, but with a velvety edge that hangs on nicely.--Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2023. 7,205 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

100
RP
As low as $749.00
2005 Haut Brion

This is a wine that makes you dream. The nose is packed with flowers, sweet tobacco, iodine, spices, raspberries, blackberries, and great freshness. The texture is perfection, pure silk and the fruit is wonderfully complex and subtle. Currants, fresh mushrooms, flowers, and stones fill the mouth and make way to a delightful finish. Please leave this alone until 2020.James Suckling | 100 JSThe 2005 Haut Brion is out of this world and certainly one of the finest wines I’ve ever tasted. Deeper, richer, and more concentrated than the 2000, it offers as pure an expression of this terroir as I could image with huge notes of blackcurrants, roasted herbs, scorched earth, tobacco, and earth all literally soaring from the glass. Full-bodied, powerful, concentrated, and layered, it still holds onto the hallmark elegance and purity of the estate. Wine doesn’t get any better and this tour de force can be drunk anytime over the coming three decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThe mineral-laced 2005 Haut Brion (56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc) is exquisite. With its elegance and finesse, it is not as powerful as La Mission, but the nobility and complexity of the aromatics, incredible fragrance (subtle smoke and blue, red, and black fruits) that persists in the glass, full-bodied mouthfeel (though very light and delicate on its feet), and incredible length characterize this great Haut-Brion. It is just starting to drink well, and should continue to do so for at least another three decades. It is a tour de force in winemaking, but only 9,000 cases were produced.Robert Parker | 100 RPThis is incredible on the nose, showing coffee cake, blackberry, floral, coffee bean and vanilla bean, with Chinese spices. A very complex, full-bodied red, with seamless, hyperpolished tannins that caress every millimeter of the palate. Lasts for minutes. So beautifully balanced, I’m left speechless. Is it even better than the 1989? Best after 2017. 9,080 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSPoured alongside an impressive lineup of 2016s, the 2005 Haut-Brion provided exquisite context to these newly released wines. While still very much in its youth, it is generously expressive and beguilingly fragrant. Initial notes of roasted coffee make way for cedar, cigar smoke, blackberry and truffles. The palate is dense with sumptuous fruit but remains graceful and fresh as waves of refined tannin build surreptitiously. On point minerally lingers endlessly on the finish. My instinct would be to hold off for a few more years though I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to open this now. What an absolute treat. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045Decanter | 99 DECThe 2005 Haut-Brion is a deep, meaty wine. Black cherry, game, smoke, tobacco, licorice, gravel and scorched earth saturate every corner of the palate. The 2005 is inky, creamy and voluptuous right out of the gate. It is also very young and in need of time in bottle. Most wines I tasted for this report started to lose a little steam after 24 hours, but the Haut-Brion kept getting better and better. It’s a magical wine, if a bit less accessible than most other 2005s at this stage. Tasted two times.Antonio Galloni | 99+ AGAll mineral at first, this wine feels cloistered in a stone cellar, its profound depths of red fruit more an impression than an immediate sensual connection. That direct connection forms over the course of several days, as the brilliant energy of the wine grows increasingly apparent. It has the controlled power of a tho­roughbred, naked and beautiful. The choice between Haut-Brion and La Mission is difficult in this vintage; anyone investing in one should invest in the other. This may prove the grander of the two, but that will likely be a point of debate for 50 years or more. Diageo Château & Estate Wines, NYWine & Spirits | 98 W&SA big, virile wine, dominated by dark and firm tannins. The structure comes from powerful black fruits, the wood only showing as dry edge to the tannins. It’s firm, obviously destined for long aging, with initial blackberry fruits powering through the density. A stupendous wine that will last many decades.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WE

100
RP
As low as $960.00
2005 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

The 2005 La Mission Haut-Brion is pure perfection. It has an absolutely extraordinary nose of sweet blackberries, cassis and spring flowers with some underlying minerality, a full-bodied mouthfeel, gorgeously velvety tannins (which is unusual in this vintage) and a long, textured, multi-layered finish that must last 50+ seconds. This is a fabulous wine and a great effort from this hallowed terroir. Drink this modern-day legend over the next 30+ years. Only 5,500 cases were produced of this blend of 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThis is very rich and layered for La Mission with ultra-polished tannins yet velvety and beautiful in texture. It’s fully-bodied and full of character that shows plums, berries, wet earth and oyster shell flavors that are so unique to reds from this estate. Superb quality. Better to drink this in 2020 but try now to feel the greatness.James Suckling | 99 JSStill inky hued, the blockbuster styled 2005 Château La Mission Haut Brion is based on a blend of 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc. A huge monster of a wine that’s still 4-5 years out from its drink window, it gives up massive amounts of ripe, smoky black fruits, truffles, chocolate, graphite, and roasted meats. This carries to a full-bodied Pessac-Léognan offering a dense, concentrated mid-palate, lots of tannins, wonderful purity, and one heck of a magical finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDThe 2005 La Mission Haut-Brion is a wine that I have had the pleasure of tasting on several occasions. The most recent bottle, included in a 2005 horizontal, puts it in a very favorable light even against strong competition. The bouquet bursts from the glass with intense blackberry, cedar and tobacco scents, plus background aromas of fig and damson, as you would expect from a warm summer. The palate is structured, yet the Merlot content (at 69%, the highest in many years) renders this Pessac-Léognan much more pliant than others from this vintage. A mélange of red and black fruits vie for attention, followed by warm gravel and black olives. Quite rich and yet not grippy; with decanting, you could broach this now, though personally I would prefer to leave it for several more years. Outstanding.Vinous Media | 97 VMA glorious vintage of La Mission, this young wine buzzes with energy in the mouth. All of the flavors, whether herbal, earthy or vinous, seem to refer back to the tiny pebbles of this terroir. The texture is silken, the finish exclamatory and grand. It has a racy beauty, the kind of effortless strength Nureyev’s choreography projects in Le Corsaire. One of the wines of the vintage, this has a high proportion of merlot in the blend (69 percent). It’s more accessible than Haut-Brion, but still has the stamina for long-term aging. Diageo Château & Estate Wines, NYWine & Spirits | 97 W&SDark and dense, but with such opulent fruit, this is a year when La Mission shows its softer, richer side by comparison with neighbor Haut-Brion. There is spice and exotic and generous red fruits to give with the concentration. It has great power, but it also has a velvet structure.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThe Indian spices and blackberry on the nose are so enticing and inspiring, leading to a full-bodied palate, with very polished tannins that caress. Goes on and on as this builds on the palate, with a mineral and berry aftertaste. For long-term aging. Best after 2015. 5,665 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

100
RP
As low as $799.00
2009 haut bailly Bordeaux Red

I continue to think the 2009 Château Haut-Bailly is the finest wine from this estate to date. It exemplifies the inherent elegance and finesse of this terroir while offering an incredible level of richness and depth, revealing a ruby/plum hue as well as a smorgasbord of black cherries, red currants, lavender, unsmoked tobacco, truffle, and flowery incense. Every bit as sensational on the palate, this full-bodied Haut-Bailly has a flawless, layered, multi-dimensional texture, beautiful mid-palate depth, and again, just off-the-charts elegance and finesse. It needs an hour in a decanter if drinking any time soon and has another 30 years of prime drinking ahead of it. Hats off the team of Véronique Sanders for this legendary Graves.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDI have had this wine now four separate times since I wrote my official review after bottling of the 2009s. It goes from strength to strength, and it is not surprising that it is now one of the perfect wines of this great, great vintage – the finest vintage of Bordeaux that I have tasted in 37 years covering that epicenter for world-class quality in wine. Much of it is attributable to winemaker Véronique Sanders and her boss, Robert Wilmers. Their incredibly draconian selection process and their enormous investments in both the viticulture and the estate as well as the winemaking facility have paid off brilliantly over the last decade. The 2009, which has an opaque ruby/purple color, an extraordinary nose of high-quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, graphite, blackcurrants and spice, hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied, saturated and rich mouthfeel, but an elegant and ethereal quality that is difficult to articulate. It is rich, complex and tastes as if it were the vinous equivalent of a remarkable haute couture creation from the late Coco Chanel. It is full-bodied yet elegant, powerful yet delicate, and remarkably velvety-textured, sumptuous and loaded with upside potential. It can be approached now, as most 2009s tend to be, given their richness of fruit, low acidity and extraordinary concentration, but the great complexity that will emerge from this fabulous terroir is at least a decade away, and this wine is set for 50 or more years of longevity. Kudos to Haut-Bailly!Robert Parker | 100 RPRight from the first moment you look at this wine you can see that it remains young, concentrated and full of life. Clear smoked caramel on the nose, the texture is supremely silky and seductive, creamy in a way that sits against the taut precision of most vintages of Haut-Bailly and yet still maintaining control and poise. The aromatics are young and seductive, and the terroir has not yet fully overtaken the vintage expression, but it will do in another five or six years. A huge success. Drinking Window 2020 - 2050.Decanter | 98 DECAromas of blackberries, wet earth and mushrooms, follow through to a full body, with a solid core of fruit. Velvety and delicious, yet wonderfully structured. Muscular wine. Best ever? Try in 2018.James Suckling | 97 JSSmooth and opulent, this immediately appeals with its generous fruit and texture that feels like velvet. The structure sits under the seductive surface, with a chocolate wood flavor, fruit tannins and density. Age for over 10 years at least.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThe 2009 Haut-Bailly has a well defined bouquet. Black cherries, redcurrant, iris flower and light blood orange scents, are focused and yet controlled beautifully, considering the precocity of the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy ripe red and black fruit, charcoal and sage. Touches of hickory and black pepper appear towards the open-knit finish. I wonder how this will age as there are more secondary notes on the close than expected...but it remains a lovely Haut-Bailly. Tasted at the Haut-Bailly vertical at the château.Vinous Media | 94 VMOffers a rich, very dense feel, but stays racy thanks to a strong graphite frame around the core of roasted fig, plum sauce and maduro tobacco. Muscular but defined on the finish, with a long tarry edge in reserve. This shows serious depth and is more backward than most of its peers. Should really stretch out nicely in the cellar. Best from 2017 through 2035. 6,665 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château Haut-Bailly) I did not love the 2009 Haut-Bailly in its very earliest days in bottle, as the wine struck me as borderline overripe in personality. This, of course, was not an impression that was exclusive to the Haut-Bailly in this vintage, as many of the other 2009s also seemed to show overt signs of sur maturité to me in the first few years after bottling. However, when I last was served a bottle of this wine, it was most assuredly moving in the right direction! Today, the 2009 Haut-Bailly is one of my favorite wines from this vintage in the Graves, as the estate did a very nice job of sidestepping any potential issues with overripeness. The deep and chocolaty nose wafts from the glass in a stylish blend of black cherries, plums, chocolate, tobacco leaf, lovely soil tones and a nice framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite plush on the attack, with a fine core, plenty of ripe, well-integrated tannins and impressive length and grip on the focused and nascently complex finish. A lovely example of the 2009 vintage, which is still a year I most emphatically do not love on the Gironde, as I find the 2008s across the board far more interesting to my palate. (Drink between 2020-2060).John Gilman | 90 JG

100
JD
As low as $599.00
2009 haut brion Bordeaux Red

Extravagant and exotic, but still lively, this is a super-concentrated and elegant wine that’s already breathtaking, yet has enormous aging potential. Plenty of wet earth and mushroom character alongside the cassis and blackberry aromas. Super-long, perfectly balanced finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)James Suckling | 100 JSWhat a blockbuster effort! Atypically powerful, one day, the 2009 Haut-Brion may be considered to be the 21st century version of the 1959. It is an extraordinarily complex, concentrated effort made from a blend of 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc with the highest alcohol ever achieved at this estate, 14.3%. Even richer than the perfect 1989, with similar technical numbers although slightly higher extract and alcohol, it offers up a sensational perfume of subtle burning embers, unsmoked cigar tobacco, charcoal, black raspberries, wet gravel, plums, figs and blueberries. There is so much going on in the aromatics that one almost hesitates to stop smelling it. However, when it hits the palate, it is hardly a letdown. This unctuously textured, full-bodied 2009 possesses low acidity along with stunning extract and remarkable clarity for a wine with a pH close to 4.0. The good news is that there are 10,500 cases of the 2009, one of the most compelling examples of Haut-Brion ever made. It requires a decade of cellaring and should last a half century or more. Readers who have loved the complexity of Haut-Brion should be prepared for a bigger, richer, more massive wine, but one that does not lose any of its prodigious aromatic attractions.Robert Parker | 100 RPInky purple in colour, this has a rich, intense nose of damson, blackberry and olive paste. The palate is generous in texture and weight, more broad-shouldered than Château Margaux - which is already beginning to show its florality. This is balanced but well built in every inch. The warmth of the vintage coming through as fruit ripeness, liquorice, spice and punch, with the beginnings of truffle notes. There’s no question of its excellence and its bonhomie. Drinking Window 2022 - 2044Decanter | 98 DECThis enormous young wine is among the most backward of the vintage at this early stage, with iron-clad grip holding the broad, deep core of blackberry, cassis and roasted fig notes in check for now. The finish is a torrent of dense, almost compressed layers of tobacco leaf, hot paving stone, singed bay leaf and tar that will take at least a decade to massage together fully. This one is for the kids born in 2009. Best from 2020 through 2040. 10,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 2009 Haut-Brion has a less precocious but more detailed bouquet, more nuanced perhaps with warm slates baking in the summer sun, tilled loam and cedar infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, perfect acidity, layers of mineral-rich black fruit. This seems to have gained more complexity in recent years and is beginning to flirt with perfection. It’s not there yet, but it is moving in that direction. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits’ Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 97 VMSolid, very structured, packed with dense and dry tannins. There is a core of acidity and darkness that gives the wine a brooding, powerful character. At this stage, it seems austere although it does have the weight of fruit typical of the year.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE(Château Haut Brion) I was rather surprised by the shape and style of the 2009 Haut Brion, which seemed to have at least dipped a toe in the water of the Luxury Wine camp in this vintage. Not a direction I would take if I were the Prince of Luxembourg and in charge of the greatest terroir in all of Bordeaux, but I am not the Prince of Luxembourg. The wine is less ripe than the 2009 La Mission, as it weighs in at a slightly less heady 14.3 percent in this vintage. The bouquet is deep, pure and beautiful, as it offers up a fine mélange of dark berries, cassis, espresso, plenty of soil tones, smoke and a very generous dollop of toasty new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and intensely flavored, with a rock solid core of fruit, excellent focus and a fair bit of wood tannins still in need of absorption on the long, tannic finish. Today the wine is quite marked by the Taransaud component in its oak cocktail, which I have to believe is higher than the percentage used in the second wine. There is little doubt that this wine will eventually gobble up its oak tannins and smooth out a bit on the backend, but one has to ask why there is a need for so much new wood and why so much of it has to be so damn aggressive in its wood spice? These are not the aromatics or flavors of great, traditional Haut Brion, and lest we forget, this magical terroir is really where the entire Bordeaux world as we know it today once originated. Haut Brion’s historical legacy is so deep and wide that it needs take a backseat to no one on the Gironde, so let’s dial back the new wood next year and let this hauntingly mystical terroir once again become the focal point of the grand vin. Not that the 2009 Haut Brion is not a superb wine, but it so clearly could have been even better with a bit more of a traditional focal point. (Drink between 2020-2060)John Gilman | 91-93+ JG

100
RP
As low as $995.00
2009 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

The 2009 was not part of this vertical tasting, so I am repeating the tasting note published in issue #199 of The Wine Advocate from a tasting done in January, 2012.A candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2009 La Mission-Haut-Brion stood out as one of the most exceptional young wines I had ever tasted from barrel, and its greatness has been confirmed in the bottle. A remarkable effort from the Dillon family, this is another large-scaled La Mission that tips the scales at 15% alcohol. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (47% of each) and the rest Cabernet Franc, it exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a magnificent bouquet of truffles, scorched earth, blackberry and blueberry liqueur, subtle smoke and spring flowers. The wine’s remarkable concentration offers up an unctuous/viscous texture, a skyscraper-like mouthfeel, sweet, sumptuous, nearly over-the-top flavors and massive density. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime La Mission-Haut-Brion, the 2009 will take its place alongside the many great wines made here since the early 1920s. The good news is that there are nearly 6,000 cases of the 2009. It should last for 50-75+ years. Given the wine’s unctuosity and sweetness of the tannin, I would have no problem drinking it in about 5-6 years. The final blend was 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc.Robert Parker | 100 RPAs with its sibling, Haut-Brion, you immediately get a sense of the generosity of the year here. It has a striking nose with touches of kirsch, black cherry, liquorice and dark chocolate, while the exoticism of 2009 is clear in the plush, ripe, fleshy and velvet-textured fruit. It’s gourmet and well built, with plenty of life ahead of it. On the finish, a slate character does an excellent job of lifting everything up together, bringing a sense of balance and a welcome savoury bite. Exceptionally good. Drinking Window 2020 - 2042Decanter | 97 DECDark, cool and sleek, this is a very sophisticated wine with great structure and polished tannins that’s just beginning to give its best. The cassis and blackberry fruit is brightest on the long finish and that suggests this has great aging potential. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019).James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2009 La Mission Haut-Brion has a wonderful, extravagant bouquet with a slight medicinal note (not apparent on the bottle poured blind the following week) infusing the precocious red fruit, all beautifully defined with star anise and bayleaf developing. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very well judged acidity, precocious in style with a long finish that maintains that medicinal leitmotif. Wonderful. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits’ Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 97 VMSuch a generous and ripe wine, with a dark core of tannins surrounded by opulent fruit. Black fruits, coffee, very concentrated flavors, a powerhouse of structure and richness. The warmth of the wine is palpable, as is the aging potential.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThis is forcefully rendered, with dark tar, espresso and chocolate up front, backed by dense layers of fig sauce, currant reduction and smoldering black tea leaves. There’s dense flesh and great drive on the finish, which has serious grip. Best from 2016 through 2035. 6,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

100
RP
As low as $679.00
2009 pape clement Bordeaux Red

Medium to deep garnet colored, the 2009 Pape Clement struts flamboyantly out of the glass, featuring beautifully opulent preserved black fruits, Morello cherries and Chinese five spice with underlying notions of truffles, iron ore and tobacco plus a waft of sandalwood. Full-bodied, the voluptuous fruit has a firm foundation of super ripe, grainy tannins and bags of freshness supporting layer upon layer of black fruit, exotic spices and earth-laced flavors, finishing very long.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPWonderful aromas of plums and blueberries and flowers. Full-bodied with plums, stones, hazelnuts and milk chocolate, and a long, long finish. Marvelous. Best ever. Try in 2017.James Suckling | 98 JSContinuing to drink beautifully (my last bottle was a handful of years ago), the 2009 Château Pape Clément offers mature notes of blackcurrants, chocolate, cedar pencil, and loamy earth. It shows the ripe, sexy style of the vintage, yet most of its baby fat has melted away and it’s showing a beautiful sense of elegance as well as classic Graves smoky, tobacco, and earthy aromas and flavors. Enjoy this beautiful, elegant wine any time over the coming 25+ years.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDRich and muscular, with exotic roasted spice, braised fig and warm raspberry confiture notes that are supported by a broad baseline of dark cocoa, tar and freshly brewed espresso. Not shy about its modernity, but everything is in place. Just needs to settle in with cellaring. Best from 2015 through 2030. 7,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSAn early-ripening and generous wine in an early-ripening and generous year, this is full of the exuberance that it demonstrated when young. The terroir is starting to exert its influence now, with a lovely pull back on the finish as the tannins step up. It’s still youthful and buttoned down but the fruit is exotically ripe and really starting to come into its prime, with traces of heavy black pepper spice. Extremely good quality, if vintage led. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040Decanter | 95 DECThis is a richly structured wine with beautiful perfumes emanating from the bouquet. The rich, stalky texture is balanced by the flavors of dark chocolate and black currant jelly. It’s big, ripe and full of potential, a fine balance between opulence and ageworthiness.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThe 2009 Pape-Clément has a very intense, slightly smudged bouquet with heady red fruit laced with smoke, hickory and light earthenware scents. It takes time to settle although, it does gain clarity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. I find the finish just missing the tension of precision conveyed by say, the 2010 or 2016, to name but two superior vintages. This is a very fine Pape-Clément, but they have produced even greater examples in recent years. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits’ Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 94 VM

100
RP-HG
As low as $235.00
2009 smith haut lafitte Bordeaux Red

The finest wine ever made by proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the 2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte exhibits an opaque blue/purple color in addition to a glorious nose of acacia flowers, licorice, charcoal, blueberries, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings and incense. This massive, extraordinarily rich, unctuously textured wine may be the most concentrated effort produced to date, although the 2000, 2005 and 2010 are nearly as prodigious. A gorgeous expression of Pessac-Leognan with sweet tannin, emerging charm and delicacy, and considerable power, depth, richness and authority, it should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. Bravo!Robert Parker | 100 RPI think the greatest Smith Haut Lafitte to date (possibly matched by the 2018), the 2009 Château Smith Haut Lafitte tastes like it did on release, offering a smorgasbord of Graves magic in its smoked blackcurrants, chocolate, cold fireplace, truffle, unsmoked tobacco, and Asian spices. While this is a big, rich, incredibly concentrated Graves, it nevertheless maintains a beautiful level of nuance and elegance, with silky tannins, a seamless, multi-dimensional texture, and a heavenly finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. As with all truly great wines, it delivers an incredible amount of pleasure, both hedonistic and intellectual, all while staying weightless, graceful, and elegant. Hats off to the Cathiard family and winemaker Fabien Teitgen for this legendary Graves!Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDAromas of flowers, dried citrus fruit and blueberries follow through to a full body, with firm and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Gorgeous fruit and structure. Polished and powerful. Best red ever from Smith. Best in 2018.James Suckling | 96 JSThis is really loaded, with crushed plum, blueberry, cassis, fig and blackberry paste flavors all melded together, along with notes of tar, pastis and violet. Very long and dark, but polished and pure, with terrific fruit offset by a great tug of earth on the finish. Should cruise easily in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2035. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSAs with many 2009 clarets, this is much more flamboyant than its 2010 sibling and provides a completely different flavour profile. Here the fruit is more ripe cherry with spice, cocoa and mocha. Sumptuously rich and voluptuous, this low acid wine has fine, silky, fluid tannins. This has power and personality in abundance and is almost entering its drinking window. However, the best is still yet to come.Decanter | 95 DECThe 2009 Smith Haut-Lafitte has a very perfumed, quite floral bouquet with violets permeating the black and red fruit, hints of game and leather developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. Touches of brown spice filter through the red fruit and towards a fleshy and lightly peppered finish. This is a classy Pessac-Léognan from the Cathiard’s...though, the 2016 is better! Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.Vinous Media | 94 VMVery dense and firm, this has powerful tannins as well as a blackberry jam flavor. The wine is complex, full of both dark tannins and the richest fruits, layered with notes of herb, spice and a concentrated structure.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE

100
RP
As low as $299.00
2010 haut bailly Bordeaux Red

As ever when tasting the two together, the striking thing is the difference in character rather than quality between 2009 and 2010. This is tighter, more structured in its concentration, more broad shouldered, but still intensely impressive and full of pleasure. Neither are ready to go yet, but this feels like it will last longer, and feels extremely Haut-Bailly in spirit, with an elegant but complex personality, and a grip that doesn’t make a big deal of its power but refuses to give up. Blackberry, bilberry, black chocolate and pencil. Harvest September 22 to October 14. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045Decanter | 100 DECGreat aromas of crushed blackberries with flowers and stones that follow through to a full body, with super silky tannins and a long, long finish. It fills your mouth with beautiful fruit and velvety tannins yet shows tension and form. This lasts for minutes on the palate. Structured and superb. Don’t touch until 2020.James Suckling | 98 JSDeep plum/purple, Haut-Bailly’s 2010 required some coaxing to appreciate its subtle notes of barbecue smoke, lead pencil shavings and creme de cassis as well as its touches of pomegranate and forest floor. The oak is pushed far into the background and the tannins are extremely silky, but the intensity of the wine is profound and the finish lingers for close to 55 seconds. This wine is ripe yet delicate, powerful yet stylish, and essentially resembles a remarkable fashion design from a house of haute couture. This wine needs a good 7-8 years of bottle age and should keep for 40-50+ years.Robert Parker | 98 RPThe 2010 Haut-Bailly has an outstanding bouquet with intense blackberry, briary, crushed stone and subtle violet scents, more backwards and more precise than the previous vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and firm grip. Layers of tar and tobacco are infused with black fruit and a touch of liquorice on the finish. This is a Haut-Bailly on another level from previous vintages that will age with style. Superb. Tasted at the Haut-Bailly vertical at the château.Vinous Media | 96 VMChewy and brambly, but integrated, this carries a very hefty core of espresso, ganache, mulled plum and blackberry fruit. The purity starts to shine through on the finish, which drips with cassis and is threaded with a long warm paving stone note. Tight and backward today, this extremely well-built wine will need substantial cellaring. Best from 2018 through 2035.Wine Spectator | 95 WSA powerful and complex wine from an estate performing on its top form. Solid tannins, layers of wood and dark fruits combine to give a wine that offers both richness and a dense structure. This Haut-Bailly should age impressively and for many years.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE(Château Haut-Bailly) The 2010 Haut-Bailly weighs in at 13.9 percent alcohol, making it quite ripe, but there is a lot of complexity here to be found on both the nose and palate and this could eventually prove to be one of the best wines of the appellation. The nose offers up a very ripe (but not overripe) blend of cassis, black cherries, tobacco smoke, soil tones and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite ripe, with a good core of fruit, good focus and plenty of tannins from a combination of new oak and skin tannins. One can sense just a bit of heat from the high alcohol on the backend here at the present time, but this may well simply be a passing phase for this wine and it could ultimately come around quite nicely. (Drink between 2022-2060)John Gilman | 87-90+ JG

100
DEC
As low as $199.00
2010 haut brion Bordeaux Red

As for the 2010 Haut-Brion, it does not have the power of Latour’s 2010 or the intense lead pencil shavings and chocolaty component of Lafite-Rothschild, but it is extraordinary, perfect wine. It has a slightly lower pH than the 2009 (3.7 versus the 2009’s 3.8), and even higher alcohol than the 2009 (14.6%). The wine is ethereal. From its dense purple color to its incredibly subtle but striking aromatics that build incrementally, offering up a spectacular smorgasbord of aromas ranging from charcoal and camphor to black currant and blueberry liqueur and spring flowers, this wine’s finesse, elegant yet noble power and authority come through in a compelling fashion. It is full-bodied, but that’s only apparent in the aftertaste, as the wine seems to float across the palate with remarkable sweetness, harmony, and the integration of all its component parts – alcohol, tannin, acidity, wood, etc. This prodigious Haut-Brion is hard to compare to another vintage, at least right now, but it should have 50 to 75 years of aging potential. Anticipated maturity: 2022-2065+.Kudos to the team at Haut-Brion and to the proprietors, the Dillon family, who are now represented admirably and meticulously by Prince Robert of Luxembourg. He has made some changes, and all of them seem to have resulted in dramatic improvements to what was already an astonishing group of wines.Robert Parker | 100 RPPure perfection and one of truly legendary wines out there, the 2010 is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc that hit a whopping 14.6% natural alcohol, with a healthy pH of 3.7. This deep rich, opulent beauty is just now at the early stages of its prime drink window and has an incredible array of blackcurrants, chocolate, truffly earth, graphite, and hints of tobacco. A massive wine in every sense, it still somehow stays weightless and graceful, with silky, building tannins, flawless balance, and just everything in the right place. It needs an hour or two in a decanter if drinking any time soon, and it’s going to have upwards of 75-100 years of ultimate longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDSappy, tongue-coating pastis, blackberry coulis and loganberry fruit starts this huge wine off, followed by a parade of licorice snap, violet, tar, black tea, roasted alder, wood spice and steeped black cherry fruit notes. A beam of pure cassis drives through this, and the finish pulls everything together with a mouthwatering brambly edge that should soften slowly over time. A riveting display of brawny power, unbridled energy and high-level [i]terroir[n]. Best from 2020 through 2040. 7,800 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSAnother different register as we head to Pessac-Léognan. And as with Mouton this has an exuberant grilled almond note around the edges with a thick velvety texture. You can really feel the weight and width of this wine through the mid palate and again you feel it just has so much life and pleasure ahead of it. This is all about the texture, it has an extremely marked sense of a rising tide of tannins and fruit, ready to power through the ages. Drinking Window 2025 - 2050Decanter | 98 DECA firm and serious wine, complex and complicated, one of the finest wines from 2010 vintage. It has a rich undertow of black fruits, while the tannins dominate at this stage. To add to the powerful range of flavors, the wine has an edge of severity that bodes well for its long-term future.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEThis is very spicy with dried mushroom aromas with dark fruits and plum undertones. Sweet tobacco as well. This is full-bodied, with lots of tannins that are chewy and firm. This is muscular for HB and flexing it. Try in 2020.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2010 Haut-Brion has a more flamboyant and showier bouquet than the La Mission with copious black fruit, orange blossom, fireside ash and chai tea aromas that are irresistible. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine and supple tannins, firm grip, quite saline in the mouth with strong truffle notes on the finish. Quite brilliant. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the BI Wines & Spirits 10-Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 97 VM(Château Haut-Brion) The 2010 Haut-Brion is one of the lowest alcohol wine in the entire Dillon stable in this vintage, as it tips the scales at a mere 14.6 percent. The merlot was brought in here starting on the 8th of September and the cabernet sauvignon did not arrive in the cellars until the first week of October. Despite it being lower in alcohol than the 2010 La Mission, it seemed even a bit riper in style, with a distinct (and troubling) note of sur maturité evident on the backend of the finish. The bouquet is deep, complex, very ripe and very vivid (from the wine’s revved up acidity?), as it soars from the glass in a blaze of cassis, dark berries, Cuban cigars, coffee bean, lovely soil tones and plenty of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, broad-shouldered and rock solid at the core, with hard, tough tannins, coarse acids and a very long, chewy and discordant finish. Perhaps this was just an awkward time for the wine, but no one at the château seemed concerned in the least with how this wine was showing- in fact, quite the contrary- so maybe this oddly balanced showing is really how the wine is in 2010. After the very forcefully styled 2009 Haut-Brion, this power-monger 2010 is hardly reassuring for those of us that prize past vintages of Haut-Brion for its unabashed elegance and hauntingly profound expression of terroir. One has to hope that this wine will eventually pull itself together in the cellar, but it seems to be a profound departure from the past and one has to ask why this is the case. One would certainly expect that an estate of the stature and historical legacy of Haut-Brion would be above point chasing, but how does one reconcile the much more elegant renditions of the 2010 vintage at estates such as Domaine de Chevalier and Pape-Clément with these super-sized Dillon wines, if not assuming that the team here is now consciously aiming to produce much more powerful wines? I have to assume that this wine will eventually place itself at the higher end of this scale, but it was nonetheless rather a sad showing for an unabashed fan of traditional Haut Brion. (Drink between 2025-2075)John Gilman | 83-93 JG

100
RP
As low as $975.00
2010 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

This is crazy. The nose is so unique with the iodine, stones and currant aromas with wet earth and mushroom. Aromas like this don’t usually come out until 10 years or so in the bottle. Classic nose for this estate. Full-bodied, with an amazing palate of firm yet polished tannins and a solid palate. So dense and gorgeous. It is really stunning. Try in 2020.James Suckling | 100 JSDeep garnet colored, the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion has a commanding, profound nose of baked blackberries, boysenberries and warm cassis plus suggestions of candied violets, red roses, chocolate box, cedar chest and smoked meats with a waft of iron ore. Full-bodied, powerful and hedonic, the palate bursts with expressive black fruits and floral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing with epic length. A real head-turner, this beauty is already very impressive, but for that full WOW experience I would give it another 3-5 years in bottle to blossom.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPMore subdued on the nose but with striking cinnamon and black pepper notes alongside the blackberry and spiced dark chocolate, this is concentrated and velvety and extremely high quality. Again it is the texture, the construction, that grabs you. There is a similar feel to Haut-Brion, in its weight and power, just a little less elongated stretching out of the tannins through the final furlong. But believe me, you’ll enjoy this too. Drinking Window 2025 - 2050Decanter | 98 DECThe 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion has a very flattering bouquet with detailed red and black fruit laced with chestnut, cedar and sous-bois. This is supremely well focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins. There is immense depth here, more savoury than expected with chestnut once again, white pepper and a tinge of dried blood towards the finish. Outstanding. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the BI Wines & Spirits 10-Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 98 VMThis rich, open wine has both acidity and impressively ripe white and yellow-fruit flavors. The creaminess creates a sense of richness underlined by the wood aging. This is a balanced wine, already well integrated and likely to age well. Drink from 2024.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEIntense and engaging. Despite showing lots of heft and tarry grip, the singed apple wood and alder notes are well-defined in this red, accentuating a core of roasted fig, blackberry coulis and macerated red and black currant fruit. The long, bramble-edged finish sports showy ganache and Lapsang souchong tea notes, while the structure refuses to yield until everything has finally played out. Muscular and vivacious. Best from 2019 through 2040. 5,100 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS(Château La Mission Haut-Brion) The 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion is the most mammoth of all the wines in the Dillon stable in 2010, as it tips the scales at an unprecedented 15.1 percent in alcohol. The nose is very, very deep, very ripe and amazingly, also quite compelling, as it offers up scents of black cherries, sweet cassis, bitter chocolate, soil tones, cigar smoke, gravel and a very well-integrated and generous base of new oak. I much prefer the wood integration on the 2010 La Mission to the 2009 at the same stage a year ago. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, powerful and sharply acidic, with a rock solid core of pure fruit, very hard tannins, excellent focus and great length and grip on the tensile finish. The acids today are quite coarse and one hopes that they will eventually be tamed. They tend to really sharpen the expression of the fruit, but they are not currently integrated into the body of the wine and cause a fair bit of discordance on the finish at the present time. The 2010 La Mission, despite its higher alcohol content than the 2010 Haut-Brion, shows less signs of overripeness on the backend than its First Growth stable-mate. It too is a very forcefully-styled and bruising young wine at the present time, and I have a hard time imagining its ultimate shape. Perhaps it will turn out as well as the 1975 La Mission, but it may also always be a wine that never fully pulls its currently disparate elements into a cohesive and compelling whole. There is a lot of sound in the fury currently in the glass, but not much enlightenment. (Drink between 2025-2075)John Gilman | 83-92+ JG

100
RP
As low as $679.00
2020 haut brion Bordeaux Red

The 2020 Haut-Brion is a blend of 42.8% Merlot, 39.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17.5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 7th to 29th September, with an estimated alcohol of 15% and a pH of 3.8. Opaque purple-black colored, it leaps from the glass with a first wave of vibrant black raspberries, ripe blackberries and mulberries scents, followed by a powerful core of warm cassis, dark chocolate and violets, before bursting into an array of crushed rocks, iron ore, tree bark and black truffles notes. The concentrated, densely packed, full-bodied palate is not in the least bit heavy, delivering a refreshing backbone of red berry and dried herbs suggestions, framed by seamless acidity and very finely grained tannins, finishing on an epically long, fragrant earth note. Simply stunning.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98-100 RPUnquestionably one of the top wines in this impressive vintage, the 2020 Château Haut-Brion checks in as 42.8% Merlot, 39.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc, all of which will spend 15-18 months in 77% new French oak. Its deep purple color is followed by a thrilling nose of mineral-laced blackcurrants, black raspberries, toast, spice, scorched earth, and graphite. Possessing an almost Lafite-like elegance on the palate, it nevertheless has huge dry extract, full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and beautiful tannins. Per the spec sheet, the alcohol is an estimated 15% with a pH of 3.78, so it’s no shrinking violet, yet it never shows a hint of headiness or being over the top. I finished my note with “Where can I buy some?” I suspect this wine will require a solid decade to hit the early stages of maturity and will be a 30-, 40-, or possibly a 50-year wine.Jeb Dunnuck | 98-100 JDThis is a superb Haut-Brion with incredible tannins that are wonderfully fine-grained. It’s really powerful. This is very primary with so much grape-generated tannin structure. Very, very long, going on for minutes. Seductive and friendly at the start and then takes you on at the finish with so much structure. Wine of the vintage?James Suckling | 100 JSThe 2020 Haut-Brion is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year. Substance, depth and textural intensity elevate Haut-Brion into the realm of the sublime in 2020. All the elements are so wonderfully balanced. Inky dark fruit, gravel, lavender, violet and dark spice build as the 2020 gradually opens with some aeration. Wow.Vinous Media | 97-99 VMTightly textured, this is a wine whose future is assured. With intense white fruits, spice and touches of toast from the wood aging, the wine’s concentration and taut character combine richness and structure.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WE(Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France, Red) Concentrated, powerful and precise; this takes a grip and holds on, layers of liquorice, grilled coffee bean, chocolate, blackcurrant pastille, cassis bud and a more steely wet stone edge that gives a much needed balance to the richness of the overall feel of this wine. Gunsmoke curls out of the glass after half an hour - this is going to need serious ageing, impressive and powerful stuff. Harvest from 7th to 29th September. (Drink between 2030-2050)Decanter | 96 DEC

100
JD
As low as $1,415.00
2020 les carmes haut brion Bordeaux Red

On another level, the flagship 2020 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is one heck of a dense, backward, concentrated wine that’s going to require bottle age. Coming in with the same technical analysis (acidity and alcohol) as the 2018, this full-bodied beauty offers a thrilling nose of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, charcoal, and gravelly earth. Full-bodied on the palate, with a terrific mid-palate and wonderful purity, it holds things close to its vest yet has flawless balance, impeccable purity, and just a great, lengthy finish. Nevertheless, this is one big bruiser of a wine that’s going to demand bottle age. Do your best to hide bottles for 7-8 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following three to four decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 96-98 JDExotic fruit aromas of blackberry, blueberry, peach and orange peel. It’s full-bodied with a vertical flow of layered, chewy tannins that are integrated and intense. Extremely polished and focused. Crushed stone to the fruit in the aftertaste. Some bark and forest flowers, too. Great potential.James Suckling | 97-98 JSDeep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion issues forth a beguiling array of savory scents—black olives, charcuterie, bouquet garni and Sichuan pepper—over a core of bright redcurrant jelly, black cherries and cassis scents, plus fragrant hints of rose petals and preserved mandarin peel. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing and elegantly styled yet with a rock-solid backbone of firm, finely grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and perfumed. This is a stunning expression of the vintage that should be long lived and age with fantastic grace.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | (95-97)+ RPThe 2020 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is dazzling, but it is also a wine of reserve and understatement. I image it will be some years, at the very least, be fore the 2020 is ready to show all it has to offer. Today, it is not particularly expressive. The aromatics, which are usually so penetrating are quite shy, although the significant presence of Cabernet Franc that distinguishes this wine comes through in its energy and sense of drive. I can’t wait to taste the 2020 from bottle, and won’t be at all surprised if it turns out even better than this note suggests.Vinous Media | (95-97)+ VM(Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France, Red) Clear violet edging to the colour, vibrant and enticing. This is elegant and full of personality, with high floral aromatics, a ton of dark fruits, and a blueberry dominance that gives a classic Carmes Haut Brion feel. Slightly austere, slightly bitter, both in the best possible expression of those terms, where it is mouthwatering and moreish. A juicy salinity ensures this is a wine that doesn’t overpower, its flavours are revealed slowly and carefully, tugging backwards, with a texture that heads towards linen rather than silk - meaning that you don’t glide through, you carefully step through well-placed tannins and fruits. There is clear delicacy here, and with 55% whole bunch fermentation - the highest level that they have done to date. 3.62pH (they harvested this at almost 1% ABV higher), fermented with their own natural yeasts. Highest percentage of the two Cabernets on recent record (before 2010 Carmes was regularly at 50% Merlot). Strong candidate for the score moving upwards when in bottle. (Drink between 2028-2048)Decanter | 96 DEC

100
VM
As low as $139.00
2020 pape clement blanc Bordeaux White

One of the whites of the vintage, the 2020 Château Pape Clément Blanc is based on 62% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Semillon, 4% Sauvignon Gris, and the remaining 1% Muscadelle, all of which was raised in a mix of new and used oak. This beauty stopped me in my tracks and offers a massive nose of honeyed limes, white flowers, tropical fruit, crushed stone, and orange marmalade. With the vintage’s vibrant sense of freshness, full-bodied richness, a stacked mid-palate, and a fabulous mouthfeel, this truly sensational white is an incredible achievement, and hats off to the team at Pape Clement! Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following two decades or so.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDI like the richness and focus to this with sliced cooked apple, lemon and light toffee character. Candied pineapple. Hints of meringue. Full-bodied and layered. Really delicious and flavorful now with a solid balance of phenolic structure. Classy. Agile. Drink after 2025 but hard to stay away.James Suckling | 97 JSThis is a step up, as it’s larger in scale, brighter and more defined than most of its brethren, featuring long tarragon and thyme threads that pull gooseberry, star fruit and white peach notes along. Offers lots of energy through the finish, which ripples with sel gris and oyster shell echoes offset by a hint of salted butter. Really gorgeous. Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris. Best from 2024 through 2032.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2020 Pape Clément Blanc has a bright nose with scents of orchard fruit, orange pith and lime cordial scents, well defined and focused. The palate is fresh and mineral-driven, quite taut, much less oaky than other vintages and displaying more terroir towards the finish. One of the best whites from this estate that I have tasted. Tasted three times with consistent notes.Vinous Media | 94 VMA delicious Pape Clément blanc, this has flesh, power, depth, character and a ton of juicy minerality with white pear, peach, and a slate-filled texture that adds grip and saline freshness. Well balanced and easy to recommend. Tasted three times.Decanter | 94 DEC

100
JD
As low as $179.00
2020 smith haut lafitte blanc Bordeaux White

A tight, phenolic white with light tannins that give the wine form and balance. It’s full-bodied and lightly chewy with dried apple, lemon and peach. Minerally and chewy. Flavorful. From organic grapes. 90 sauvignon blanc, 5% sauvignon gris and 5% semillon.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDA tight, phenolic white with light tannins that give the wine form and balance. It’s full-bodied and lightly chewy with dried apple, lemon and peach. Minerally and chewy. Flavorful. From organic grapes. 90 sauvignon blanc, 5% sauvignon gris and 5% semillon.James Suckling | 95-96 JSButterscotch, vanilla, a soft honeyed caramel, lemon and orange notes with green apple. Quite bitter straight away, the lemon and orange rind and grapefruit juice elements all to the fore alongside a hit of bright, lemon juice acidity. Then it settles, almost closes, or narrows into a funnel, quite tight and sleek, definite tension there, but there’s power and structure still with elegance. It’s not giving, generous and approachable right now but this has been well made - really focused and polished. Body, freshness and structure with lovely hints of minerality and such a wide aerial, aerated finish. It’s serious - this is bold but with something so special about it. Ageing 50% new oak, 50% one year old barrels, 12 months with three months in vats before bottling.Decanter | 96 DECSuave and caressing in feel, this drapes beautifully, with creamed yellow apple, gooseberry and lemon curd notes on the flattering side, offset by hints of tarragon, blanched almond and salted butter on the racier side. The finish is enhanced with paraffin and smoke hints. Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris. Drink now through 2030. 2,400 cases made, 250 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is superb. Élevage has done wonders in lending energy and brilliance. The 2020 shows the soft curves of the warm vintage, but it has tons of energy, too. That makes for an absolutely brilliant, compelling white that delivers on so many levels. The 2020 offers enough approachability to drink well now, but also the energy to develop well in bottle for many years to come.Vinous Media | 95 VMA strong effort, the 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc wafts from the glass with aromas of nectarine, pear, lemongrass, Sauvignon botanicals, toasted bread and baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, it’s rich and concentrated, with ripe acids and chalky structuring extract. It’s not quite as vibrant and precise as the 2019, but it’s a success nonetheless.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

100
JD
As low as $190.00

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