2007 Haut Brion Blanc

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2007 Haut Brion Blanc

The palate opens slowly, offering an initial citrus character, followed by wood and then, finally, wonderfully rich, but taut fruit. There is still a toast character here, with apricots and pear on top of the citrus, but it is still only just developing. In 10–15 years, it will be a magnificent wine.

Wine Enthusiast | 98 WE
Delivers aromas of dried pineapple, lemon and mango, yet stays reserved, with an underlying minerality, almost chalkiness. Full-bodied, offering amazing density and richness. Loads of fruit are restrained, like a ballerina with perfect form. A tense, poised wine that blows your mind with its balance and structure. The wine of the vintage for 2007 in Bordeaux. Best after 2013.

Wine Spectator | 97 WS
No written review provided | 95+ RP
Pale, bright yellow. Musky aromas and flavors of pineapple, grapefruit, crushed rock, ginger and mustard seed. Offers an uncanny combination of great density without any impression of weight, with the mid-palate displaying complex smoke and spice notes and outstanding lift. Maintains its thickness straight through to the finish, where it's virtually impossible to scrape this juice off your palate. This extremely promising young wine needs long aging to knit.

Vinous Media | 95+ VM

Wine Details on 2007 Haut Brion Blanc

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Producer Chateau Haut Brion: In order to be classified as a First Growth of perhaps the most esteemed, prestigious and famous wine region in the world, the wine must be of incredible quality. First Growth status is reserved for the finest wines in Bordeaux and with it comes profound recognition and lofty expectations. The five Chateau that enjoy this luxurious title have in common – wines that exude ethereal superiority over the greatest wines in the world. However, one of these does not hail from the fertile and infamous soils of Medoc.

The wine of Chateau Haut Brion is not just incredible but also the only one born outside the precious lands of the Medoc. Pessac-Leognan, which is known for its well-drained, deep gravel soils is home to Haut Brion. These soils are characteristic of the northern part of the appellation, while clay and limestone are typically found farther south. The landscape is higher in elevation than that of the Medoc, with rolling hills that sweep along the left bank of the Garonne River. The climate here is warmer due to its southern location and its proximity to the city of Bordeaux. This unique Terroir awards Haut Brion with great success.

After traveling to Bordeaux in 1787, Thomas Jefferson, serving as America’s French ambassador, wrote in his diary; “The soils of Haut Brion, which I examined in great detail is made up of sand, in which there is near as much round gravel or small stones and very little loam like the soils of the Medoc.” It is interesting to note the similarities in soil type with that of Haut Brion’s fellow First Growth properties. While it enjoys the typical Medoc soil structure, it is also higher in elevation and with the warmer climate, the terroir is so unique and rewarding that it makes the inconceivable feat of becoming a First Growth that does not reside in the Medoc a bit more fathomable.

The History of this great estate is long and distinguished and includes many historical records regarding its impressive excellence, in not only its wine and terroir, but also its proficient bottling process. Chateau Haut Brion dates back to 1521, making it the oldest, continuously working winery in Bordeaux. On April 10, 1663, Samuel Peps (The Robert Parker of his days) wrote the following comment after tasting what was to him a new Bordeaux wine while at London’s Royal Oak Tavern, “There I drank a sort of French wine called Ho-Bryan that hath a good and most particular taste I never met.” On that day, Chateau Haut Brion entered the history books as being the world’s first wine to earn a professional review.

Another piece of historical acclaim is contained in a letter dated April 6, 1850, written by Joseph-Eugene Larrieu from an American wine merchant, named Loreilhe. In the letter, he complained that he did not receive enough cases of Chateau Haut Brion to satisfy his customers. Conversely, he praised Haut Brion for its packaging, stating that it was done with the greatest of care. The note also included, “labels and capsules bearing your name, which is also branded onto the cork as well as glass seal on the bottles neck.” This documentation could make Haut Brion the first major Bordeaux estate to bottle its own wine.

And of course, in 1855 Haut Brion was officially awarded First Growth status which was well deserved as Lafite, Latour and Margaux were the only other wines considered in the same class at that time. The history, allure and elite standing of Chateau Haut Brion and considering it is the sole First Growth not to hail from the Medoc, makes it a unique and treasured estate.

50 hectares of vines of the illustrious Chateau Haut Brion are planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Three hectares of the estate are planted to 51.5% Semillon and 48.5% Sauvignon Blanc and are used to source the grapes for Haut Brion Blanc. Annual production is 10,000-12,000 cases and around 650 to 850 cases for the Blanc.
Region Bordeaux: Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.

The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
Country France: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Type of Wine Bordeaux White: In the world of wine, all other regions must bow before Bordeaux. The absurdly-talented white wine producers continue to assert their dominance by bringing out the true potential of varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Gris. If you have even the slightest bit of appreciation for fine white wine, these bottles will change your life.
Varietal White Bordeaux Blend: There is no question that red wine dominates the region of Bordeaux. With that being said, four million cases of white Bordeaux (Bordeaux Blanc) are produced each year, accounting for 10% of the region’s total production. Classic White Bordeaux Blends are perhaps the most overlooked white wines in the world today. The main varietals of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle, each bring their trademark characteristics in the creation of ethereal quality whites.

Classic blends are pale in color, with flashes of golden-green, and are characterized by aromas of citrus, grass and hay. An array of flavors of honeyed lemon, orange marmalade, dried apricot and preserved tropical flavors (depending on age) infiltrate the palate. When the wines are produced according to tradition and in line with appellation laws, a classic Bordeaux white wine will contain at least 25% Sauvignon Blanc to ensure aromatic freshness. Lighter-styled, aromatic wines will contain higher levels of Muscadelle, and for a richer, more cellar-worthy style, a higher proportion of Semillon is used.

Perhaps the greatest expression of classic, dry white Bordeaux blends hails from the Pessac-Leognan and Graves appellations. Here, the terroir is characterized by many lightly-sloping low rises that ensure good drainage, facilitated by a network of small streams that act as natural drains. Soils are mostly comprised of river gravel deposits up to eight meters deep, left behind by the Garonne River on limestone bedrock. The gravel captures heat during the day and releases it into the soil at night aiding in the growth and vitality of the vine roots. It is also the hottest meso-climate of all Bordeaux appellations. Numerous producers in Pessac-Leognan make stellar white Bordeaux wine, but the undisputed king is Chateau Haut Brion Blanc. It combines intensity of flavor with rich textures, concentration, and complexity and has the ability to age for decades. Domaine de Chevalier, Smith Haut Lafitte and Malartic Lagraviere are also atop the pyramid of producing classic, dry white Bordeaux blends. These wines can rival the greatest whites in the world.

The Left and Right Bank also produce white Bordeaux blends; however, due to AOC laws and guidelines on allowable varietals, the wines are produced and sold as generic Bordeaux Blanc. Cos d’Estournel in Saint Estephe (Left Bank) produces a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. In the Right Bank, Monbousquet Blanc is a terrific example of the dry, white blends of the appellation with its balance of 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris and 5% each of Muscadelle and Semillon.

They may be overshadowed by their red counterpart, but top-quality white Bordeaux blends are simply stunning, unique, sexy and luscious. Today, the quality of white Bordeaux wine has never been better.

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