x
  • Country ranking ?

    3 283
  • Producer ranking ?

    65
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Seared Elk Chops Au Poivre

The Story

There is an amazing dual hit of black fruit and fine-grained tannins here, which is rounded off with a wonderful creaminess. The fruit is encased in a huge structure, which is not always easy to assess when tasting en primeur, but it has a lovely fleshiness to it and the wine is multi-layered with flavours evolving in the mouth. Notes of cocoa, vanilla and tar show towards the finish and it all ends completely seamlessly. The tannins are extremely ripe and well-integrated. Ch. Haut-Brion is often understated at this stage, which serves to underline how fine this wine will be.

 

Château Haut-Brion Thomas Jefferson, the american ambassador to Paris and later President of the United States of America, visited Haut Brion on May 25th 1787 commenting in his journals about the soils of the vineyards as well as mentioning that there were four vineyards of first quality Château Margaux, Château Latour Ségur, Château Haut Brion and Château La Fite. He also wrote:"Haut Brion is a wine of the first rank and seems to please the American palate more than all the others that I have been able to taste in France.“ Jean de Pontac began constituting the Haut-Brion vineyard, in the Graves region, in 1525.

 

His descendants went on to produce "New French Claret," the precursor of today's great wines. Their efforts enabled Arnaud III de Pontac to sell his wine under the estate's name as early as 1660. Called “vin de Pontac”, then Haut-Brion, it gained a fine reputation and enormous success in London. The first of the Bordeaux great growths was born. Through the centuries, the owners and managers of Haut-Brion have been obsessed with perpetuating the château's reputation for quality. Classified a First Growth in 1855, Haut-Brion has done everything possible ever since then to maintain its standing. To perpetuate its Grand Cru status, an estate and its constituent parts have to be maintained over the centuries, suitable grape varieties for each plot have to be chosen, and a relentless selection process carried out. Today, a great American family, the Dillons, has been continuing this tradition for seventy years.

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Vintage 1966

Château Haut-Brion


Thomas Jefferson, the american ambassador to Paris and later President of the United States of America, visited Haut Brion on May 25th 1787 commenting in his journals about the soils of the vineyards as well as mentioning that there were four vineyards of first quality Château Margaux, Château Latour Ségur,Château Haut Brion and Château La Fite. He also wrote: „ Haut Brion is a wine of the first rank and seems to please the American palate more than all the others that I have been able to taste in France.“
Jean de Pontac began constituting the Haut-Brion vineyard, in the Graves region, in 1525. His descendants went on to produce "New French Claret," the precursor of today's great wines. Their efforts enabled Arnaud III de Pontac to sell his wine under the estate's name as early as 1660. Called “vin de Pontac”, then Haut-Brion, it gained a fine reputation and enormous success in London. The first of the Bordeaux great growths was born.
Through the centuries, the owners and managers of Haut-Brion have been obsessed with perpetuating the château's reputation for quality. Classified a First Growth in 1855, Haut-Brion has done everything possible ever since then to maintain its standing. To perpetuate its Grand Cru status, an estate and its constituent parts have to be maintained over the centuries, suitable grape varieties for each plot have to be chosen, and a relentless selection process carried out.
Today, a great American family, the Dillons, has been continuing this tradition for seventy years.
The vineyards are on a small rise about 27 metres above sea level. It contains a very deep layer of gravel – perfect for growing wine. Just over 48 hectares are planted with 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc.
Haut Brion is together with Latour the Premier Cru that has been most consistent for the last 100 years, never going through a phase where their wines were not worthy of their Premier Cru status. This is not taken for granted by the present management and they are making great efforts to not only keep the quality of their wine but also always trying to improve small details. Fortunately, they are not using extraction machines or other voodoo methods of concentration, but rather seeking concentration by lowering the yield per vine. This has subtly changed the style of the wine to make it more approachable earlier but without losing the true character of Haut Brion - the connaisseurs Premier Cru.
Soil: gravel soil with a subsoil of clay and sand
Production area: 48 ha
Grape varieties: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot
Average age of vines: 37 years
Harvest method: by hand with the sorting out on trailers
Winemaking: computer controlled pumping-overs and thermoregulation according to the temperatures of the must and the marc
Ageing: 18-22 months in 80% new barrels


Château Haut-Brion
Pessac, France
Tel. +33 5 56 00 29 30
Fax. +33 5 56 98 75 14
www.haut-brion.com/home/en/
info@haut-brion.com

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2012 2010 2005 2000
403€ +19.2% 338€ +3.0% 328€ +59.2% 206€ -28.2% 287€ +57.7% 182€ +50.4% 121€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium

ending

Medium

flavors

Blackcurrant, Raspberry, Licorice and Cassis

nose

Refined, Closed and Wide

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity and Ripe

Written Notes

There were a flight of 1990s, but first we sampled a pretty 1966 Haut Brion first. It had a gorgeous nose that was deliciously mature and aromatic, showing lots of cassis, nut, dates and special fruit. The palate was a step down from the nose, but it was still lovely. Soft and plush, it went down almost like water, although that isn’t necessarily a good thing (92).

  • 92p
Top shoulder fill, ruby, brick rim. Almonds, a touch of VA, wood polish, roses, tight behind, blackcurrant's leaf. Tighter palate, tannins very ripe, but palate is slightly drying, transparent, green leaf notes in the finish. Better than my last bottle, but still not an optimal one.
  • 89p

Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

92p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 1966  ( Château Haut-Brion )

There were a flight of 1990s, but first we sampled a pretty 1966 Haut Brion first. It had a gorgeous nose that was deliciously mature and aromatic, showing lots of cassis, nut, dates and special fruit. The palate was a step down from the nose, but it was still lovely. Soft and plush, it went down almost like water, although that isn’t necessarily a good thing (92).

9m 5d ago

89p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 1966  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Top shoulder fill, ruby, brick rim. Almonds, a touch of VA, wood polish, roses, tight behind, blackcurrant's leaf. Tighter palate, tannins very ripe, but palate is slightly drying, transparent, green leaf notes in the finish. Better than my last bottle, but still not an optimal one. "

4y 6m ago

89p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 1966  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Excellent event- Dom Perignon 1975 rose mg surprisingly fresh and vivid, at the end of the day, the best Haut Brion were 1989, 1961, 1945, 1982, ....36 vintages:)"

5y 8m ago

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