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.
2004/ A GOOD YEAR
The nose is relatively discreet but has great clarity including nuances in turn of red fruit, minerals, woodiness and smoke. We find a complexity in the mouth. In spite of enormous concentration, the tannins do not attack the palate. The wine is precise, long and straight. Behind its façade of austerity we discover a wine with great elegance and stylishness. With the 2004 Chateau Haut-Brion has developed one of the great wines of the vintage.
Sum of temperatures : 3365 °C
Rain : 325 mm
Days where temperature above 30 °C : 21
Harvest : from 06/09/2004 to 06/10/2004
Current vintage notes
The year 2004 began with an extremely rainy month of January. In spite of this marked humid start up, the year 2004 in finis finale turned out to be short on the humidity factor. The flowering at the beginning of June took place under perfect climate conditions and was swift with a pleasing equilibrium. The August rain was for the most part concentrated during the last two weeks. As a result we decided to
remove some of the leaves covering the bunches on the vines. This maneuver enabled the harvesting of ripe and healthy grapes during the superb month of September. The picking of the white grapes began on September 6th and the red grapes on September 16th.