100 Points - Neal Martin - “The 2015 Haut-Brion is a blend of 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc picked between 8 September and 5 October. Of course, it showed majestically out of barrel, so pressure was on in bottle. Deep in color, the bouquet is a real showstopper: blackberry, raspberry, sage, black olive and warm gravel...this is a profoundly complex bouquet that is nuanced and beautifully delineated. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and ample freshness, but don’t be deceived because this is a very structured Haut-Brion built for the long-term. Remarkably the 14.9% alcohol is completely disguised. It feels incredibly long, and yet instead of fanning out, it shuts down the door on the finish. It is a behemoth of a wine, one that is up there with the legends of the past. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2070.”
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck - “The 2015 Haut Brion is a perfect wine that couldn’t be any better and is certainly at the top of this great vintage. A blend of 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc, this full-bodied, concentrated, backward, yet sensationally pure 2015 boast knockout notes of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, ground herbs, and graphite, with a terrific damp earth/minerality quality emerging with time in the glass. Straight, focused, and built like a skyscraper, with a stacked mid-palate, forget bottles for 7-8 years and enjoy over the following three to four decades.”
98 Points - Antonio Galloni - “A huge, dramatic wine, the 2015 Haut-Brion is magnificent. Vertical in its construction and towering in its reach, the 2015 is going to need a good decade-plus to even start becoming approachable, as it needs to lose baby fat and develop the full range of its aromatics. Even at this early stage, though, it is wonderfully complete and positively stunning.”
Château Haut Brion is situated in the suburbs of the city of Bordeaux, in the Pessac-Léognan commune. Rated as a First Growth, it has one of the smallest productions however this Château has a rich history even getting a mention in Samuel Pepys’ diary in 1663 "drank a sort of French wine called Ho Bryen that hath a good and most particular taste I never met with". After many years of unsuccessful owners and the Château falling into ruin, Château Haut Brion’s luck changed when it was bought by American financier, Clarence Dillon, in 1935. Today, his great-grandson Prince Robert of Luxembourg runs the estate with much of its success owing to the winemaking Delmas family, in particular George Delmas (former manager of Cos d'Estournel) who have passed on their knowledge and skills over the generations. The château’s second wine is Clarence de Haut-Brion. (Prior to 2007 it was called Bahans-Haut-Brion but the name changed in recognition of Clarence Dillon).
Bordeaux is not only the most famous wine producing region in France but in the world, with the most prestigious châteaux and wines in the industry. Its history dates back to the Roman times and today is the largest producing region of fine wines. Vineyards in Bordeaux are known by châteaux and therefore the name of each individual château is an important brand.
Many top wines are sold ‘En Primeur’ meaning that they are sold in the barrel prior to bottling. Almost 90% of the wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called ‘Claret’ in the UK) from over 8,500 producers. The main reason for the success of the wine production in Bordeaux is the perfect combination of climate, with long hours of sunshine ideal for ripening the grapes and well-draining gravel soil. Appellations are an important part of the Bordeaux culture and the region has 54 appellations recognized by the AOC, the Appellation d’Origine Controlle.
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