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The VAULT

The VAULT

The VAULT

A person’s wine collection tells a lot about their passion and personality. While not every wine is for everyone, certain bottles simply command respect in a way that goes beyond personal taste. Every bottle is a reflection of the culture that produced it, the people who devoted hours and days, months and years to the art of winemaking, each grape carefully picked and processed when the time is just right. Some blends are so coveted, it takes you a decade to receive your first bottle, and the wait makes the wine that much sweeter. If a wine is worth adding to your collection, it performs astonishingly at any kind of social gathering and will create memories for years to come.

As a result, the market for top-quality wines grows every year. It is more important than ever to secure your spot on big waiting lists, as many brands produce only a small amount of wine annually. With how much wines can vary from year to year, due to the condition in which grapes grow, you don’t want to miss the best vintages. Part of our mission is helping people like you wrap their lips around the juiciest, most elegant blends we can find. While some people are in it for profit, we think the true joy of wine comes from tasting it, and sharing it with your closest friends, family, and loved ones. The sheer emotion that goes into winemaking rubs off on the person imbibing it, allowing you to peer through windows across time and space and rekindle your love for nature, and your love for humanity. Let’s explore this land of delicious swirling crimson together.
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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
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
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
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 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 $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
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
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 $555.00
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 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 $1,049.00
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 $705.00
2007 haut brion Bordeaux Red

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 WETasted at BI Wine & Spirits' 10-Years-On tasting, the 2007 Haut Brion has a perfumed bouquet with abundant red fruit, sage, sandalwood and black olive scents that just seem to soar from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, beautifully judged acidity and a gentle build in the mouth towards the savory/meaty finish. There is class interwoven into this Haut Brion from start to finish, and the persistence is very impressive. This is just reaching its drinking plateau. Tasted February 2017.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 94 RP-NMBright ruby-red. Pure but youthfully inexpressive nose hints at raspberry and tobacco after extended aeration. Sweet, suave and pliant, with a silky texture perked up by minerality and lifted by a spicy component. Really lovely consistent ripeness here, showing neither roasted nor green qualities. Took on a more floral character with air. This superbly elegant wine really saturates the palate and lingers. Tannins are fine and sweet.Vinous Media | 94 VMThe 2007 Haut Brion is outstanding, and shows the forward, sexy, charming style of the vintage nicely. A blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, it offers loads of upfront black fruits, tar, asphalt, and tobacco leaf aromas and flavors. With medium-bodied richness, silky tannin, and beautiful balance, it’s drinking nicely today yet has 15-20 years of life ahead of it.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDThere's beautiful sweetness of fruit on the nose, with floral and ripe plum undertones. Very aromatic and subtle. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicate fruit finish. Refined. Best after 2013.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

93-94
RPNM
As low as $530.00
2008 haut brion Bordeaux Red

I loved this vintage of Haut Brion en primeur and am so happy that it has more than lived up to expectations now that it is well into its second decade of life. The fruit remains layered and complex; with plump but measured damson, cassis, bilberry, softening ever so slightly around the edges but still maintaining a slate texture that keeps things just slowly inching forward through the palate. Rosemary, black olives and crushed mint leaf on the finish. Ruthless selection, with just 35% of production going into the first wine.Decanter | 97 DECThis is profound! 2008 Haut-Brion: The extraordinary 2008 Haut-Brion is a candidate for -wine of the vintage.- Composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, it reveals more evolution and complexity in its large-scaled perfume. The dense purple color is followed by a sweet nose of creosote, asphalt, blueberries, black currants and jammy raspberries, sweet tannins, a savory, fleshy mouthfeel and a stunning finish. This incredibly pure, noble wine was produced from one of the estate's smallest crops (only 7,000 cases produced versus the usual 12,000 cases). It should drink well for three decades or more.Robert Parker | 96 RPDark, dusty, hugely structured, Haut-Brion is a complex, serious wine with grandeur. The wine has considerable weight, its tannins striated through the black plum and damson skin fruits. For long-term aging.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThe 2008 Haut Brion has a very perfumed and floral bouquet: ebullient raspberry coulis and crushed strawberry fruit, sage and a hint of black olive. It just builds momentum in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. It feels a little grainy in texture, centered upon gravelly black fruit laced with black olive and smoke. It felt more austere than I expected, the finish reserved and somehow "contained" and yet the aftertaste is extraordinarily long. Avoid opening bottles for now because this was always one of the standout wines of the vintage, but at 10 years old it might be going through a dumb phase. (Tasted at BI Wine & Spirit’s annual 10-Year On tasting).Vinous Media | 95+ VMThe 2008 Haut Brion is another classic, austere, yet balanced and concentrated wine in this vintage that still has some upside. Notes of blackcurrants, cold fireplace, smoked earth, and tobacco all flow to a medium to full-bodied, firm, structured Haut-Brion that has beautiful purity as well as length. It’s just still tight and relatively closed at present. Give bottles another 4-5 years, after which it should be at the early stages of its drinking plateau and cruise for another two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 94+ JDWhat a finish here. It starts off slowly and then builds. Full bodied, but in reserve with a sweet tobacco, berry, and light dark chocolate character. Bright acidity and a chewy finish. So classy. Production was tiny in 2008. Try after 2014.James Suckling | 94 JSThis has racy acidity well-buried in the core of damson plum, cherry pit and red currant notes, all backed by fine-grained tannins and subtle sanguine and iron shadings. Tar and lilac hints chime in on the finish, where the appellation's typical tarry note shows some atypical polish. Impressive. Drink now through 2020. 7,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

As low as $550.00
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 $655.00
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 $1,599.00
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 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 $949.00
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
2011 haut brion Bordeaux Red

A serious Haut-Brion, still very much closed. Concentrated with firm tannins, this has real depth to it, showing walls and structure. Beautiful juice starts to seep through the walls after a few moments and this has great potential. It has a tannic frame that softens as it opens, and lets the light in, showing its more elegant side. Cleverly constructed, this is great winemaking, a clear success. 72% new oak. Harvest August 31 to September 27. Drinking Window 2021 - 2045Decanter | 97 DECLots of subtle redcurrant and berry character, with flowers and sweet tobacco on the nose. Full body, super-integrated tannins and a light shaved-chocolate, berry and cedar character. A decadence and beauty to this that wakes you up. Better in 2018.James Suckling | 96 JSThe unbelievably superb 2011 Haut-Brion (a tiny production of 7,600 cases from a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 19% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a classic nose of subtle smoldering embers, warm rocks, black currants, new saddle leather, spice box and high quality, unsmoked cigar tobacco. The color is a dense ruby/purple to the edge, and the wine cuts a serious as well as broad swath across the palate. The most amazing aspect of this terroir is that the wine, despite all its power and richness, literally dances on the palate, as if it were a 90 pound ballerina. This brilliant 2011 should evolve quickly, hitting its prime in 7-8 years, and drink beautifully for 20-25 years.Robert Parker | 95 RPThis packs some serious density for the vintage, with layers of braised fig, blackberry pâte de fruit and dark currant paste, all inlaid with lively briar, tobacco leaf and roasted apple wood notes. Shows lots of energy through the finish, with the grip generating a mouthwatering feel. One of the stars of the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2035.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 2011 Haut-Brion has a really lovely, warm, autumnal nose with red fruit, chestnut, autumn leaves and Earl Grey scents. Very complex. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins, a crisp line of acidity, maybe just a little austere on the finish, but there is fine focus with a delicately spiced, slightly medicinal finish. This is an impressive and quite delicious Haut-Brion that should give 20 years more drinking pleasure. Tasted blind at the annual 10-Year-On tasting.Vinous Media | 94 VMThis wine has an intense herbaceous quality, with fruit and nutmeg flavors. It feels and tastes powerful, with alcoholic warmth and a taut and nervy character.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE

As low as $535.00

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