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Haut Brion

Haut Brion

Haut Brion

Haut Brion - A Subtle Mix of Power, Delicateness, and Refinement

One of the most appealing things about wine is how it lets us get in touch with a different time, in a subtle but profound way. It can be argued that a bottle of wine tells the story of the people who produced it and the area they called home. Much like a well-made painting, a glass of wine is worth a thousand words, and there is no shortage of words when it comes to Chateau Haut-Brion.

Chateau Haut-Brion was originally founded in 1525 and has been passed down between many owners since then. The people of that time were responsible for the “New French Claret,” the precursor to modern fine red wines. It was included in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, an honor only reserved for the finest properties. More recently (since around 1935), the estate has been restoring its status as an essential competitor in the wine world. Since the old days, it has been known for countless innovations in the wine-making field, and their grape selection creates a delicious signature flavor.

Their red wines are supported by a variety of some of the finest ingredients known to man. From the intriguing and creative inclusion of currant flavor to the down-to-earth and homey charcoal that gives it a familiar and precise structure, you can experience new sensations every time you pour a glass of this heavenly elixir. In that way, it is a lot of like a masterpiece of classical music, where you find new notes with each listen.

The white wines outclass a lot of their competition, as their flavor is the stuff of legends. One sip introduces you to a flowery, colorful mix of lemon zest, grapefruit, decadent honey, and refreshing, juicy melon. The texture is smooth as silk, and the wine goes down as if it had a mind of its own. If you need a classy and refreshing drink for those hot summer evenings with the family, not many things can compete with Chateau Haut-Brion. Notable vintages: 1945, 1955, 1961, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016
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1970 haut brion Bordeaux Red

(Château Haut-Brion (Graves)) The 1970 vintage of Haut-Brion is an interesting wine, as in the 1980s and early 1990s, this wine was quite red fruity and seemingly a bit high-toned to be ranked amongst the top vintages of this fine First Growth. But time has worked its magic, and in the new century it became more classically black fruity in profile and seemingly put on a bit more weight in the mid-palate, to eventually offer up a quite classic bouquet of cassis, black cherries, brick dust, cigar smoke and a fine base of gravelly soil tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite elegant in profile (channeling both the style of the vintage and the property), with a good core, melted tannins and a long, silky and complex finish. Fine juice. (Drink between 2017-2030).John Gilman | 93 JGThe 1970 Château Haut-Brion is a First Growth that has probably been over-shadowed by the Latour 1970 during its lifetime. However, this bottle proves that it is not to be underestimated; it highlights the glaring gap that exists between itself and another First Growth, the 1970 Château Margaux that I tasted alongside. There is plenty of vigor on the nose with dashing red berry fruit, cedar and black olive - just very Haut-Brion.The palate is medium-bodied, well balanced and fresh, nothing over-ambitious, just a Claret in the traditional sense of the word that gently builds towards a sous-bois dominated finish. This is an excellent showing, stout and a little austere, and you could argue an Haut-Brion with its peak in its wing-mirrors. Yet good bottles such as this will continue to offer pleasure for another decade. Tasted June 2015.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 92 RP-NMVery firm, with ripe plum and currant notes coming through its chewy texture, finishing with woodsy, bitter chocolate overtones. A sturdy wine that keeps threatening to become supple.--Haut-Brion vertical.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90-92
RPNM
As low as $935.00
1976 Haut Brion
As low as $550.00
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
1986 haut brion Bordeaux Red

A seductive mix of brambly autumnal fruits, black truffles, graphite and cigar box, this is absolutely ready to drink now and yet will continue to unwind and deliver for decades to come. The tannic structure is still noticeable, even at 32 years old, and it propels the fruit forward to a fresh, minty finish. I tasted this with a lovely group from the Napa Valley Reserve who were on a trip to Bordeaux in October. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040Decanter | 96 DECI tasted this at a fun restaurant in Bordeaux called Le Père Ouvrard in the Bouscaut neighborhood. The 1986 was a great vintage for the Médoc but less so for Pessac-Léognan, partly because an early torrent of rains wrought havoc for wines with more merlot in their blends. Many of the 1986s are starting to fall apart, but the La Mission was holding on nicely with dark berries, currants, iodine and oyster shell. It was full-bodied, very soft, very silky and ended with a fresh finish. It’s a wine definitely on a holding pattern.James Suckling | 96 JSThis wine continues to be backward, but the bouquet is beginning to develop secondary nuances from roasted herbs and sweet cigar tobacco to compost, leathery notes, along with plenty of sweet cherry and black currant fruit. I had somewhat higher hopes for it a decade ago. The wine is still youthful, quite pure, medium to full-bodied, but somewhat elevated, austere tannins in the finish at age 16 are starting to make me think they will never become fully integrated. As always, making a judgment call on a wine destined to have a half-century of life is sometimes difficult, given the varying stages it goes through, but I wonder if this wine will turn out to be as profound as I once predicted. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 94 RP

96
DEC
As low as $759.00
1988 haut brion Bordeaux Red

The wine of the vintage and one of the greatest Haut-Brions ever made. Superpowerful and ripe, with masses of spice, mint and berry character. Full-bodied, with full yet polished tannins, this wine is a joy to taste and will be for decades.--1988 Bordeaux horizontal.Wine Spectator | 98 WSA more firmly structured Haut-Brion, built somewhat along the lines of the 1996, this dark garnet-colored wine is showing notes of licorice, underbrush, compost, truffles, dried herbs, creosote, and sweet black cherries and currants. Medium-bodied, rich, but still structured, this wine unfolds incrementally on the palate, showing superb density and a lot of complex Graves elements. It is just beginning to hit its plateau of full maturity. Anticipated maturity: Now-2025. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 92 RPThe 1988 Haut Brion is another vintage that I have not seen for a number of years. It has a light, maybe slight smudged nose that is quite leafy in style, autumnal, hints of bay leaf and a light marine influence developing but never quite delivering the vigor of its sibling, the 1988 La Mission Haut-Brion. The palate is medium-bodied with dry tannin on the entry, a fine thread of acidity, but I would argue this is too simple for a First Growth in a decent vintage like this, does not engage or charm like the 1985 or 1986. Of course, matter would be redressed by the legendary 1989 Haut-Brion. The 1988? It is more like a footnote to Jean-Bernard Delmas’s crowning glory that arrived 12 months later. Tasted at the château.Vinous Media | 90 VM

96
WS
As low as $595.00
1988 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

Iodine aromas, with tobacco, cedar and sea shells, and earth and ripe fruit underneath. Full-bodied, with slightly chewy tannins and a vanilla, berry and cherry aftertaste. Big and powerful still. I would give it a little more time to mellow. But an impressive wine for the vintage.--'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château La Mission Haut-Brion) The 1988 Château La Mission Haut-Brion is a very strong example of the vintage, with the ’88 tendency to a slight leanness nicely complemented by the property’s inherently broad shoulders. The deep and mature nose wafts from the glass in a very complex constellation of sweet dark berries, black cherries, still a touch of medicinal Graves tones, summer truffles, a fine combination of Cuban cigar ash and wrapper, gentle meatiness, a complex base of gravelly soil notes, a bit of smoky new oak and just a hint of violet in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with a fine core, still just a bit of backend tannin, good acids and fine focus and grip on the long and complex finish. This is one of the top 1988s that I have had a pleasure to taste and a very fine La Mission, even if it will always be just a touch sinewy by the rather robust standards of this outstanding estate. It is not quite as sweet in its fruit component (yet?) as the 1983 or 1981, but it may well get there, and if it does so, my score will be a tad conservative. (Drink between 2015-2040)John Gilman | 93+ JGThe 1988 La Mission Haut-Brion is a vintage that I have not encountered for ten years. Now at 30 years old it has a charming bouquet with scents of tobacco and cigar box infusing the black fruit, just as it did a decade ago. It is not powerful but undeniably very refined. The palate is medium-bodied with leafy black fruit infused with bay leaf, clove and black tea. Yes, it is a relatively austere La Mission compared to the succeeding two vintages, but there is a sense of effortlessness about this wine that makes you fall in love. Maybe not quite as vigorous as it was before, but you would still polish off a bottle in no time at all. Tasted at the château.Vinous Media | 92 VMFirm, masculine and tannic with plenty of earth, truffle, asphalt and volcanic characteristics, this burly La Mission-Haut-Brion is bordering on being monolithic/foursquare. It reveals good body as well as plenty of tannin, adequate acidity, a dark plum/garnet color, and classic La Mission terroir characteristics of smoke, scorched earth, spice, roasted meats and camphor. Neither big nor wimpish, it, like many wines of this vintage, appears to be aging nicely. While fully mature, it displays enough youthful characteristics, from its tannin to its vibrant, moderately intense fruit, to suggest it will hold up for another two decades.Robert Parker | 90 RP

94
RP-NM
As low as $350.00
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
1990 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

Reminiscing over the 1989 and 1990 vintages, which I have followed from birth, there always seemed to be a dramatic difference in quality. Not that the 1990 was not a top wine, but in its infancy, I never thought it would come close to being as riveting and magnetic as its older sibling, the 1989. However, it has proven to be nearly as prodigious. One of the hottest years in Bordeaux, 1990, a vintage of enormous yields, even dwarfing yields in 1985 and 1982, produced a fabulously open-knit, seemingly fast track La Mission that, at age 22, shows no signs of fading or losing its grip. The color is slightly more mature and evolved than the 1989’s, exhibiting a lighter rim and a less dark blue/ruby/purple hue. Classic La Mission-Haut-Brion aromatics of camphor, licorice, scorched earth, hot bricks, barbecue, cassis, blueberry and kirsch are well displayed. Broad, expansive, velvety-textured and opulent with high glycerin and perhaps slightly higher alcohol (I don’t have the statistics to verify that), the 1990 is as delicious and open-knit as the 1989, with less density and possibly less potential longevity. Most 1990s have been quick to reach full maturity, and as brilliant as they can be, they need to be monitored carefully by owners. Currently in late adolescence, but close to full maturity, the 1990 should hold in a cold cellar for another 15-20 years. However, it is a fabulous wine to inspect, taste and consume, so why wait?Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 1990 La Mission Haut-Brion was always going to lie in the shadow of the previous vintage, but let's be clear: this is a magnificent, audacious follow-up. The nose might not be blessed with the Swiss-watch precision of the 1989, yet how can you possibly resist the heart-warming scents of roasted chestnuts and morels that suffuse the red berry fruit? The palate sports a slight gaminess and, as I noted in previous tasting notes, there is a Musigny-like personality toward the rounded, slightly earthy finish. Few La Missions have delivered such untrammeled drinkability. Tasted at the La Mission Haut Brion dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 97 VM(Château La Mission Haut-Brion (served from magnum)) The 1990 La Mission is a very top example of this vintage, and out of magnum it is just beginning to blossom. The deep, complex and classy nose offers up a very ripe blend of cassis, spit-roasted game, saddle leather, cigar ash, dark soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with just a touch of La Mission’s youthful medicinal tones still in evidence. The wine is rock solid at the core, modestly tannic and beautifully balanced, with outstanding focus, length and grip. The 1990 vintage in general has not aged anywhere as well as I had initially anticipated, but this is one 1990 that does not disappoint. (Drink between 2012-2065)John Gilman | 94+ JGMuch more linear and firm than the 1989. Full- to medium-bodied, with firm tannins and a racy finish. A fine wine. '89/'90 Bordeaux non-blind horizontal. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

99
RP
As low as $1,195.00
1990 Haut Brion

1990: In terms of the brilliant complexity and nobility of the aromatics, scorched earth, black currants, plums, charcoal, cedar, and spices, the 1990 offers an aromatic explosion that is unparalleled. It is always fascinating to taste this wine next to the 1989, which is a monumental effort, but much more backward and denser, without the aromatic complexity of the 1990. The 1990 put on weight after bottling, and is currently rich, full-bodied, opulent, even flamboyant by Haut Brion’s standards. It is an incredible expression of a noble terroir in a top vintage. While it has been fully mature for a number of years, it does not reveal any bricking at the edge, and I suspect it will stay at this level for another 10-15 years ... but why wait? It is irresistible now. Release price: ($1200.00/case).Robert Parker | 98 RPVery close to Margaux in terms of its level of success, although with a more exuberant feel, touches of cinnamon, smoke, truffles and meat. Overall it is more opulent and rounded in the mouth than the other four firsts at this point and a seriously impressive glass of wine. This was an early harvest, and is clearly ready to drink with an exotic charm, but there is still a softly brushed tannic frame, and plenty of life ahead. A great period at Haut-Brion, with Jean Bernard Delmas at the helm of the winemaking. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 97 DECThe 1990 Haut-Brion is exotic, flamboyant and super-expressive. Dark fruit, leather, licorice and grilled herbs are all amped up. Although the 1990 doesn’t quite have the aromatic depth and intensity of the very finest years, it is nevertheless a stunning, gorgeous wine of the highest level.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG(Château Haut-Brion) A lot has seemingly changed at Haut-Brion since I wrote my historical piece on the estate back in 2007, with a quest for more ripeness and power in this wine (sadly) now quite well established in the last several vintages. That chimeric quest was inconceivable back in 1990, and this wine is a beautiful testament to just how magical this terroir can be when it is the focal point of the wine. This is one of the top 1990s to my palate, soaring from the glass in a beautifully youthful nose of cassis, dark berries, tobacco leaf, a whisper of leather, fresh herb tones, a complex base of gravelly soil tones, cigar smoke and a suave base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, seamlessly complex and still quite closed, with a fine core of fruit, superb focus and balance, ripe, beautifully integrated tannins and outstanding length and grip on the refined and very intensely flavored finish. A great 1990 in the making. (Drink between 2020-2075).John Gilman | 95 JGRacy and refined, with firm, silky tannins and a long finish. Full-bodied. Mushrooms and ripe fruit on the palate. Needs some bottle age to open. ’89/’90 Bordeaux non-blind horizontal. Best after 2006. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98
RP
As low as $1,120.00
1990 haut brion blanc Bordeaux White

Intense, almost harsh with zingy flavors. Showing more wood than the 1989, and less elegance, but it’s powerful and sharply focused.--Haut-Brion vertical. 800 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90
WS
As low as $1,040.00
1995 Haut Brion

It is fun to go back and forth between the 1995 and 1996, two superb vintages for Haut-Brion. The 1995 seems to have sweeter tannin and a bit more fat and seamlessness when compared to the more structured and muscular 1996. Certainly 1995 was a vintage that the brilliant administrator Jean Delmas handled flawlessly. The result is a deep ruby/purple-colored wine with a tight but promising nose of burning wood embers intermixed with vanilla, spice box, earth, mineral, sweet cherry, black currant, plum-like fruit, medium to full body, a high level of ripe but sweet tannin, and a finish that goes on for a good 40-45 seconds. This wine is just beginning to emerge from a very closed state where it was unyielding and backward. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035. Last tasted, 11/0Robert Parker | 96 RPThis 1995 Haut-Brion was served blind during the summer at a private dinner in Bordeaux, a bottle with perfect provenance. It is a vintage that I have drunk several times, but not since 2013. Deep in colour, the 1995 has plenty of black fruit on the nose, displaying a distinctive briny influence, classic in style with stunning definition. There is something regal about the aromatics. The palate is well-balanced, with fine acidity and black fruit once again, sappy and saline, with an underlying ash-like note emerging as it opens in the glass. Though quite linear towards the tobacco and sous-bois finish, the 1995 conspicuously gains weight and breeding with time. Therefore, I would afford this First Growth four to five hours of decanting as it remains more backward than I imagined.Vinous Media | 95 VMSweet tobacco, blackberries and violets on the nose. Subtle. Full-bodied and very tight, with fantastic tannins and a long caressing finish. Wonderful texture. All in reserve still. Give this time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Haut-Brion (Graves)) The 1995 vintage of Haut-Brion is excellent, though still a few years away from primetime drinking. The bouquet is deep, pure and classical in profile, delivering scents of cassis, sweet dark berries, singed tobacco, a touch of coffee bean, fresh herb tones, a complex base of gravelly soil tones, cedary oak and just a hint of the more red fruity elements that are sure to emerge here with further bottle age. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep, complex and seamlessly balanced, with ripe, buried tannins, fine focus and grip and outstanding length on the vibrant and very classy finish. This is a superb Haut-Brion in the making. (Drink between 2025-2085).John Gilman | 94+ JG

96
RP
As low as $799.00
1998 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

This is really classic in style with incredible depth and power. Muscular and amazing, it is full-bodied yet tight and agile. So complex. Shows iodine, oyster, stone and mint aromas and flavors. It’s rich and flavorful and at the same time fresh and racy. A modern classic. Drink or hold. Decant this one or two hours in advance.James Suckling | 99 JSA candidate for the wine of the vintage from this somewhat forgotten year, consumers should be seeking out wines from the Right Bank and Graves as 1998 was a great vintage in those appellations. La Mission’s 1998 exhibits a healthy, opaque blue/purple color with no lightening at the edge. Thirty minutes of aeration brings forth a sensational bouquet of chocolate, cedar, truffles, graphite, blackberries, cassis and incense. La Mission’s so-called scorched earth/charcoal/hot rocks characteristic has not yet appeared. Full-bodied with superb purity, a multilayered texture, sweet tannin, good acidity and a fabulously long finish, this great, young La Mission-Haut-Brion’s finest days are yet to come. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.Robert Parker | 98 RPJust a spectacular wine in every sense, the 1998 is now fully mature yet still youthful, with a vivid ruby hue and little in the way of any bricking. Offering a kaleidoscope-like nose of red and black currants, scorched earth, truffles, tobacco, lead pencil, and ample crushed stone-like minerality, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, sweet tannins, and a thrilling finish. It needs about an hour in a decanter, but this is magical juice, and the bottle was emptied in record time. Count yourself lucky if you have bottles and enjoy any time over the coming 20-30 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe 1998 La Mission Haut-Brion is the standout of the Nineties. It shows more purity and exuberance than the 1996, featuring sumptuous scents of black cherries, black olive, freshly rolled tobacco and hints of gravel, all wonderfully defined and quite precocious. The palate is likewise sweet and ripe, offering pliant tannins and layers of blackberry, blood orange, blueberry and tobacco. It tightens up toward the finish, as if to say, I’m in for the long haul. Give it a couple of hours’ decanting, or cellar it for longer if you wish. Tasted at dinner at Chez Bruce.Vinous Media | 96 VMVery dark ruby color still. The nose is deep and dense, with intense aromas of licorice, blackberry, warm stones and a hint of sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, with flavors of berries, iodine and chocolate. The tannin structure builds on the palate. Still needs to come together. A baby.--’88/’98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2012.Wine Spectator | 96 WSNo written review provided. | 95 W&S

98
RP
As low as $579.00
1998 La Tour Haut Brion
As low as $130.00
1999 haut brion Bordeaux Red

Deep plum, currant, and mineral notes emerge from the concentrated, beautifully balanced, pure 1999 Haut Brion. It seems to be cut from the same mold as years such as 1979 and 1985. There is a hint of graphite in the abundant fruit. The wine is medium to full-bodied, nuanced, subtle, deep, and provocatively elegant. It is made in a style that only Haut Brion appears capable of achieving. The finish is extremely long, the tannins sweet, and the overall impression one of delicacy interwoven with power and ripeness. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.Robert Parker | 93 RPThe 1999 Haut-Brion is a very fine vintage from the estate, although it is probably overshadowed by the overachieving 1998. This bottle has the sensuality on the nose that I have observed before but is a little more opulent than I recall, yet very delineated with black truffle, cedar and cigar humidor infusing the black fruit. The palate is well balanced with soft, almost velvety tannin. There is a sweet candied core of fruit in situ, laced with orange peel and black cherries. It fans out nicely toward the finish, which is generous rather than complex. Perfect to drink now, though I can envisage this giving another 20 years of drinking pleasure. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the estate.Vinous Media | 92 VMDelivers cooked berries, with light cream aromas that turn to tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied, featuring big, yet well-integrated tannins and a chewy finish. Needs time still to mellow. Serious.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Best after 2011. 12,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WSAromas of tobacco, hints of forest floor. Full-bodied, open and flavorful. Herbs and spice. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JS

94
RP-HG
As low as $570.00
1999 La Mission Haut Brion

The 1999 La Mission Haut-Brion has long been one of the “dark horses” from the estate, sandwiched between the 1998 and 2000 and unfairly overlooked. This bottle reveals an intense bouquet that has far more chutzpah than I presupposed. Black fruit, charcoal, singed leather and just a subtle hint of game are all delivered with impressive definition. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, and a marine influence is more noticeable than a decade ago when I last tasted it. While it has not quite lost its rather conservative and well-behaved finish, it is a thoroughly enjoyable La Mission Haut-Brion that might represent better value than more feted vintages. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the estate.Vinous Media | 94 VMMade in a lighter style, the fully mature 1999 reveals notes of beef blood, roasted herbs, black truffles, damp earth and black currants intermixed with hints of espresso and spice box. This medium-bodied, velvety textured, lush La Mission should hold nicely for a decade in a cold cellar.Robert Parker | 91 RPOffers rose and blackberry, with currant jam aromas. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and lots of fruit. This is very youthful, yet silky and refined. Just coming around.--'89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 5,830 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

As low as $305.00
2000 haut brion Bordeaux Red

Is this as good as the 1989? Certainly it is lush and powerful, lingering and expanding in the mouth with sweet tobacco and cigar box notes, along with still young blackcurrant and blackberry fruits, all given lift by the trademark Haut-Brion aromatics. It beds in and shakes off early reticence after a good hour in the glass, suggesting that this is only just leaving its primary phase and has many decades left ahead of it. A great wine that highlights the success of Haut-Brion under the partnership of estate director Jean-Bernard Delmas, father of current director Jean-Philippe Delmas, and owner Joan Dillon the Duchess of Mouchy (president of the company until 2008 before handing over to her son Prince Robert of Luxembourg). A supremely confident wine that is hard to fault in its depth of expression.Drinking Window 2020 - 2050.Decanter | 100 DECIts bigger sister, the 2000 Haut-Brion (a blend of 51% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc) showed incredibly at the tasting, and for me is one of the three or four most prodigious wines of the vintage. A compelling nose of roasted herbs, scorched earth, sweet blueberries, plums, black currants, and a hint of graphite is followed by a deep, layered, sumptuously textured, full-bodied Haut-Brion, but one with extraordinary complexity. This wine seems more evolved and approachable than I had expected it to be at age 10. My window of maturity seven years ago was 2012-2040, but I would change that to 2010-2050.Haut-Brion can be among the trickiest Bordeaux to taste young, often needing a full decade before the extraordinary complexity that marks this terroir begins to emerge. I was thrilled to see how well both the second wine, Bahans Haut-Brion, and Haut-Brion performed in this tasting, and both scores are slight upgrades.Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 2000 Haut-Brion has long been one of my favorite wines of this vintage, and at 21 years old it remains a tour de force. Blackberry, briar, black olive, incense and earthenware feature on the nose, which displays wonderful definition and so much personality. The palate is medium-bodied with a mixture of red and black fruit, white pepper, clove and graphite. It just sashays along, fresh and vital, revealing enormous, breathtaking depth on the finish. This has certainly mellowed over the last five or six years, but the bottom line is that you will be hard pushed to find a better millennial Bordeaux. Brilliant. 13.2° alcohol.Vinous Media | 98 VMFrom a year in Bordeaux that started out with poor weather yet finished under ideal conditions, the 2000 Haut Brion is a gorgeous, incredibly classic wine from this estate that everything you could want. Blackcurrants, plums, scorched earth, tobacco and lots of mineral and earthy characteristic emerge from this gorgeous, still youthful, elegant, yet powerful 2000. The blend is 51% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, and while certainly beautiful today, it has another two to three decades of longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDFor an Haut-Brion, this is huge. Every characteristic suggests power, from the dark color, through the knock-out perfumes, full of dark, brooding fruits. The flavors are black, intense and ripe. It is a delicious wine, surprisingly ready to drink. And yes, just at the end, there is a small hint of the delicacy and elegance that is true Haut-Brion.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThis 2000 starts with aromas of citrus fruit, currants, flowers, and fresh mushrooms. The palates leads off full and rich, with round tannins and a dusty texture. Plenty of fruit and sliced mushrooms on the palate, but it is still tight. Pull the cork after 2010.James Suckling | 95 JSThis is well-endowed with a large core of fig, blackberry and black currant fruit that has light mulling spice, bay and tobacco nuances peeking out, while the tarry finish cuts a broad and deep swath. Obvious heft, but the elegance wins out in the end, with a lilting sandalwood and sweet tobacco–infused finish that just sails on and on.—Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Best from 2018 through 2038. 11,817 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSNo written review provided. | 94 W&S

100
DEC
As low as $979.00
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
2000 duclot carre das 4-pack double magnum collector case (haut brion, latour, margaux, petrus) Bordeaux Red
As low as $49,999.00
2001 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

Perhaps one of the more overlooked vintages in recent years, the Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2001 is one of the finest wines of the vintage. Here, one is immediately taken aback by the precision exuded by the nose: small dark cherries and orange blossom still there, perhaps the mineralité more heightened than ever. The palate displays exquisite balance with nigh on perfect acidity, demonstrating more tension, if not the dimension of the 1990 tasted alongside. This is a serious La Mission for long-term aging. Tasted June 2014.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 96 RP-NMThe 2001 La Mission Haut-Brion is less complex on the nose than the preceding millennial vintage. There is more blue fruit here, and perhaps greater purity compared to the 2000, though it does not quite possess the same amplitude. The saline, medium-bodied palate delivers supple tannins and hints of tangy black olives (kalamata, maybe?), and shows wonderful substance and grip toward the pure finish. Jean-Philippe Delmas commented upon the “surprising depth” of the 2001, which is true. But at the moment, the 2000 has a little more personality. 13.2% alcohol. Tasted at the château with Jean-Philippe Delmas.Vinous Media | 94 VMSometimes 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 WEVery complex, with blackberries, flowers and minerals. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a fresh, sweet fruit aftertaste. Refined La Mission. Beautiful. Best after 2008. 600 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

96
RP-NM
As low as $399.00
2002 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

Bright aromas of blackberries, cherries, currants and toasted oak follow through to a full-bodied palate, with chewy tannins. Long and silky. Racy. Best after 2009.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

91
WS
As low as $275.00
2002 haut brion Bordeaux Red

Surprisingly lively and fresh, this is still a seriously impressive wine. The high proportion of Semillon is now coming to dominate the Sauvignon, to give a wine that is finely shaped, full of creamy flavors of wood and some white peach. In 10 years, this will still be fresh, in 15 just mature.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEComplex aromas of blackberries, tobacco and cedar follow through to a full-bodied palate, with ripe, velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. Very beautiful. Best after 2009.Wine Spectator | 93 WSGood ruby-red. Redcurrant, plum, tobacco and flowers on the nose. Suave and light on its feet, with excellent integrated acidity framing and extending the flavors. Classy and classic wine, finishing with ripe, building tannins. This would be perfect with a cigar. Today Delmas and Masclet prefer this 2002 to the 2001 Haut-Brion, but for La Mission they give the edge to the 2001.Vinous Media | 92+ VM

93
WS
As low as $1,275.00
2003 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

This is a giant wine with lots of muscular tannins and rich fruit. Full and beautiful, very ‘Cabernet’ with currants and spices in the forefront. Broad shouldered, with notes of fresh mushrooms, pure fruit, souis bois, and a very long, long finish. This shows incredible class for the vintage. Robert de Luxembourg says it reminds him of the 1975 vintage with the powerful tannins. Pull the cork after 2015.James Suckling | 95 JSAromas of blackberry, tobacco and hints of oak. Full-bodied, with lots of silky and round tannins and a long finish. Lots going on here. Layered and powerful. Best after 2010. 460 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSEvery year, this estate turns in a wine which closely rivals the neighboring Haut-Brion. This year, the rivalry is just as intense. This has sweet, ripe, beautiful fruit, delicious acidity already. But wait for the tannins to kick in.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe 2003 La Mission Haut-Brion shows more creme de cassis, plenty of cedar wood, melted licorice and charcoal in a medium to full-bodied wine. It is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Rustic tannins in the back knock down the ultimate pleasure, and the point score, ever so slightly, but there’s no doubting the complex, perfumey, noble aromatics this wine has managed to attain despite the staggering heat and drought in June, July and August. This has reached full maturity, but should hold nicely for another 7-10 years.Here’s a case where the second wine comes very close in quality to its bigger sibling, possibly because it is showing great complexity and is even more evolved than the Mission Haut-Brion. 2003 was tough in the Pessac-Leognan because of the lighter soils and the enormous heat and drought. Hence, the harvest here started in mid-August, which was historic.Robert Parker | 93 RPThe 2003 La Mission Haut-Brion is one of the few examples of this infamous vintage that has improved in bottle, though it’s still far from a first- or even second-tier La Mission. My most recent bottle displays all the tropes of that hot summer: black cherries, fig, singed leather and cooked meats. It does not have the delineation of the best vintages. The palate is reasonably well balanced with sweet black fruit, still displaying those fennel and garrigue notes. The finish is opulent yet slightly monotone. Tasted at a private dinner in Bordeaux.Vinous Media | 90 VM

93
RP
As low as $295.00
2004 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

As so often, La Mission is rich, voluptuous, opulent and always a wine that seduces when it is young. But watch for those firm tannins, pure black plum and chocolate flavors, and wait for the dense texture to open up over the next 10 years—and more.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe 2004 La Mission Haut-Brion is the first vintage in a while that transcends the growing season. It shows a deep garnet core with faint bricking at the rim. The very pleasant tertiary nose displays touches of pitted black olives and bell peppers; you can immediately tell that it does not derive from a warm growing season. The medium-bodied palate delivers fine-grained tannins, well-judged acidity and black fruit tinged with a light marine/seaweed influence toward the no-frills finish. It does its job, does it well, then leaves. This is drinking well now, and though I cannot foresee any advantages in long-term cellaring, it should hold up well for the next 12–15 years. Tasted at a private dinner in Bordeaux.Vinous Media | 93 VMAromas of fruit and spices, with black pepper and cumin and undertones of forest floor. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit, a silky texture and a medium-to-long finish. Best after 2011. 7,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WSWhile La Mission Haut-Brion’s 2004 is not one of this estate’s top successes, it is an outstanding wine, no doubt because of this extraordinary terroir. Deep ruby/purple with notes of lead pencil shavings intermixed with black cherries, cassis, and a hint of scorched earth, medium body, sweet tannin, and a good, but uninspiring finish, this attractive, mid-weight La Mission should age nicely for 15 or more years.Robert Parker | 90 RP

94
RP-NM
As low as $259.00
2004 haut brion Bordeaux Red

Of the pair of châteaux, La Mission Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion (both owned by the Dillon banking family) that face each other across the crowded streets of Pessac, Haut-Brion is the one with the structure, the darkness, the brooding character. This is so true of 2004, with its hugely firm structure underlying the initial supple fruit. At the end, the acidity is an enticing surprise, lifting the aftertaste.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEOpen the bottle and you’ll find harmony in the glass, but the wine remains subtle, stony and mute, as if the flavors lie behind a closed door. Over the course of several days, that door begins to open, the stoniness transforms into sleek fruit, as if to mirror the complexity of the multicolored pebbles that sustain Haut-Brion’s vines, a range of flavors from red to purple to black. The structure grows increasingly substantial, while the harmony remains, lending the wine mysterious power. Twenty years from now, this will just begin to reach a plateau and should sustain itself long after.Wine and Spirits | 96 W&SWonderful aromas of dried flowers, currant, berries and mineral. Full-bodied, yet reserved and refined. Lovely texture, with a pure silk feel. Seamless and beautiful. Great length. Even better than from barrel. Best after 2012. 12,500 cases made..Wine Spectator | 95 WSIt has been a few years since I last tasted the 2004 Haut-Brion. Now at 12 years of age, it retains its deep color. The bouquet is "pleasant" if not as complex as the 2004 Latour, yet it’s possibly just biding its time as it gradually opens with black fruit, black olive, even a touch of mint that might dupe you into thinking Pauillac. The palate is medium-bodied and very harmonious, almost caressing thanks to the Merlot lending that velvety texture. The second half changes tack, the Cabernet nudging the Merlot off the stage and delivering a more structured, possibly foursquare finish that is linear and correct. It is an excellent wine for the vintage although it will always be overshadowed by the 2005 inter alia. Maybe more personality just needs to develop? Tasted September 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 93 RP-NMGood deep ruby-red. Reticent nose showed some dark cherry with aeration. Densely packed but youthfully closed, even a bit austere today, offering hints of black raspberry and minerals. This is fairly tannic wine (the IPT is 72) but there’s nothing hard about it. My sample gained in sweetness and texture with aeration, although its fruit character remained tightly wound. Give this time in a carafe if you plan to try it anytime soon. At this tasting, the ’04 La Mission was showing much more personality.Vinous Media | 91+ VM

95
RP-HG
As low as $599.00
2005 les carmes haut brion Bordeaux Red

This 2005 offers a fabulous bouquet of forest floor and flowers, a dark plum/ruby/purple color, and medium body. Super-intense but light on its feet, this beauty seems to be close to full maturity. Complex and cerebral, this stunner is just now drinking beautifully and should continue to do so for another 15 or more years.Robert Parker | 93 RPA complete wine, rich and opulent. It has all the right balances of acidity, sweet fruits, black flavors and underlying dry tannins. Excellent.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEMedium red. Ripe aromas of smoky plum, redcurrant, mocha, tobacco and nutty oak. Rich, pliant and fruity, with ripe acids framing the raspberry and subtle game flavors and contributing to the impression of inner-mouth perfume. Offers good volume and a restrained sweetness. Finishes with dusty, serious tannins and very good length.Vinous Media | 91 VMAromas of plum, chocolate and leather follow through to a full body, with a very good richness of fruit and a caressing, medium finish. Not overdone. Balanced and pretty. Best after 2011. 2,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS Clean, saturated fruit tannins place this in an international style. But the soil character is embedded in the wine, appearing after several days of air, once the tremendous volume of tannin begins to yield. The supple and generous feel of the wine belies the power of that tannin, needing a decade or more to mature.Wine & Spirits | 90 W&S

93
RP
As low as $189.00

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