x
  • Country ranking ?

    105
  • Producer ranking ?

    7
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Roast Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauc

Wine and diplomacy at Château Haut-Brion

 

International diplomacy is a tradition at Château Haut-Brion. Thomas Jefferson (US ambassador to France at the time) visited the estate in 1787 and Talleyrand (Napoleon's foreign minister) owned Haut Brion from 1801 to 1804. Douglas Dillon was also a highly-reputed American ambassador to France.  

A new page of history was written on the 18th of June, when Prince Robert de Luxembourg welcomed the German foreign minister, Mr Guido Westerwelle, accompanied by his French opposite number, Mr Alain Juppé, who is also Mayor of Bordeaux.
Prince Robert de Luxembourg took the two ministers on a tour of Château La Mission Haut-Brion and showed them a collection of rare engravings by Albrecht Dürer (a famous German artist from the early 16th century) while there. Seeing as fine dining lends a precious helping hand to diplomacy, this visit was followed by lunch in the Château Haut-Brion dining room.

All the wines had special meaning for the two guests:  1990 Château Haut-Brion Blanc (year of German reunification), 1989 Château Haut-Brion (year the Berlin Wall fell), 1961 (Mr Guido Westerwelle's birth year), and 1995 Château La Mission Haut-Brion 199 (year that Mr Juppé was first elected Mayor of Bordeaux). These vintages are also among the most prestigious produced by Domaine Clarence Dillon. Franco-German friendship was unquestionably strengthened thanks to the visit by the two ministers.

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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 2009

A VERY OUTSTANDING YEAR / The purplish-red color is the first sign of this wine's concentration. When swirled in the glass, it displays a deep, warm, very ripe bouquet. 2009 Château Haut-Brion is full of flavour from beginning to end. It is so rich and concentrated that we are tempted to use the word "thick". However, this thickness is in no way synonymous with heaviness thanks to a counterbalancing freshness. 2009 Château
Haut-Brion is reminiscent of 2005 in terms of power, but is even more concentrated. It also has the ripeness and mouthfeel of 1990 and 1989. To summarize, 2009 Château Haut-Brion can be said to be a cross between 2005 and 1989. We are now able to say that it is the most beautiful wine the estate has ever produced.

Merlot Noir 46%
Cabernet Sauvignon 40%
Cabernet Franc 14%
Weather conditions
Temperature sum : 3 455 °C.
Rainfall : 388 mm
Number of days over 30°C : 22

Harvesting began : August 31st – October 6th.

Current vintage notes
Winegrowers are cautious by nature. However, this year, we are throwing this legendary caution to the wind to announce the birth of a beautiful and very great vintage. The newborn is so magnificent and full of promise that it is difficult to contain our enthusiasm. We will not beat about the bush: 2009 is extraordinary, undoubtedly worthy of a place of honor in the Hall of Fame along with the
legendary 1929, 1947, 1949, 1959, 1961,1982, 1989, 1990, 2000, and 2005 vintages.


James Suckling, 100/100:
"Aromas of forest floor, currants and blueberries, with hints of fresh tobacco and sliced mushrooms. Turns to orange peel and blueberries. Full-bodied, with incredible structure. This is so powerful in tannins, yet so polished. This is the most structured Haut-Brion that I have ever tasted. This has 15% Cabernet Franc, which is more than normal and perhaps giving the wine a little more tannic structure. A monumental Haut-Brion made to age for centuries. I have never tasted a young Haut-Brion, with such spellbinding power and depth. A modern 1945 or 1961 HB? Better than the legendary 1989? Try in 2021."

 

What 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, Wine Advocate (100 Points)

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
659€ +0.8% 654€ -4.4% 684€ -9.3% 754€ -25.2% 1 008€

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.

Tasting note

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Written Notes

The Haut-Brion is closed now with very little aromatics coming through. There is gorgeous velvety, firm tannins and finely-grained texture with flavours that peep through in the long finish. Keep this for at least 10+ years before approaching.

  • 98p

Tasted on the 27th January 2017 in Copenhagen, a bottle from Duclot (negociant who owns Petrus) Bordeaux Collection case of 9 bottles in vintage 2009. Double decanted at 3pm, we tasted it app. 4 hours later. Perfectly ripe black fruit, dense aromas, fat and long, refined, but not a hammer blow one expected.

  • 96p
Ruby. Scented, layered, nuanced, cassis, minerals, seductive and complex, superb nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, lively and nuanced, minerals, detailed, gorgeous wine, seductive all the way, incredible length. 99
  • 99p

Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

None

Glass time

3h

Inside Information

2009: A legendary vintage / Winegrowers are cautious by nature. However, this year, we are throwing this legendary caution to the wind to announce the birth of a beautiful and very great vintage. The newborn is so magnificent and full of promise that it is difficult to contain our enthusiasm. We will not beat about the bush: 2009 is extraordinary, undoubtedly worthy of a place of honor in the Hall of Fame along with the legendary 1929, 1947, 1949, 1959, 1961,1982, 1989, 1990, 2000, and 2005 vintages.



Château Haut-Brion
The purplish-red color is the first sign of this wine's concentration. When swirled in the glass, it displays a deep, warm, very ripe  bouquet. 2009 Château Haut-Brion is full of flavour from beginning to end. It is so rich and concentrated that we are tempted to use the word "thick".  However, this thickness is in no way synonymous with heaviness thanks to a counterbalancing freshness. 2009 Château Haut-Brion is reminiscent of 2005 in terms of power, but is even more concentrated.
It also has the ripeness and mouthfeel of 1990 and 1989. To summarize, 2009 Château Haut-Brion can be said to be a cross between 2005 and 1989. We are now able to say that it is the most beautiful wine the estate has ever produced.

Le Clarence de Haut-Brion
The first thing one notices about this wine is its understated nose.
However, each time it is swirled in the glass, it releases a new series of aromas making for an altogether interesting and complex bouquet.
Although it seems somewhat austere on the palate at first, with a very tight tannic texture, this wine opens up beautifully with aeration. 2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion may one day rival the legendary 1989 Château Bahans Haut-Brion.

Château Haut-Brion Blanc
Just putting your nose into the glass transports you to another world...   Thanks to its impressive spectrum of aromas, this wine is totally absorbing. It is pointless to be overly analytical about the bouquet that sweeps over seductively with overtones of citrus and honey.  The richness and power take over the palate with a welcome authority. Freshness complements the wine's considerable volume starting with the middle palate, and one has the pleasurable impression of biting into fresh, golden Sauvignon Blanc grapes on a lovely fall morning.
This wine is rich, full-bodied, and delicious. 2009 Château Haut-Brion Blanc is a very great wine.


La Clarté de Haut-Brion
The wine was previously called Les Plantiers du Haut-Brion. We produce white wines at each of our two estates, Château La Mission Haut-Brion and Château Haut-Brion. During blending, we retain the very best wines for the grands vins. The remaining wines from each estate are then blended and sold under the name of La Clarté de Haut-Brion. The 2009 vintage of this wine has a large amount of Sémillon (86%). It is a very attractive with hints of citrus. The palate is full-bodied with a fine balance between alcohol and acidity. This new wine was definitely born under a lucky star!

 

 

 

Wine Advocate #199
Feb 2012
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Drink: N/A $693-$2545 (1000)
What 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.
Read more

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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

98p
 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 2009  ( Château Haut-Brion )

The Haut-Brion is closed now with very little aromatics coming through. There is gorgeous velvety, firm tannins and finely-grained texture with flavours that peep through in the long finish. Keep this for at least 10+ years before approaching.

4m 19d ago

96p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 2009  ( Château Haut-Brion )

Tasted on the 27th January 2017 in Copenhagen, a bottle from Duclot (negociant who owns Petrus) Bordeaux Collection case of 9 bottles in vintage 2009. Double decanted at 3pm, we tasted it app. 4 hours later. Perfectly ripe black fruit, dense aromas, fat and long, refined, but not a hammer blow one expected.

7m 24d ago

99p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 2009  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Tasted three times - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. Whopping 98% of harvest went in Grand Vin – grapes were of fantastic quality. Incredibly aromatic black fruit, strong, lots of dark cherries on nose and palate, very deep and dense, very long, mineral, velvety and with astonishing balance. Granit block - long, long lasting potential. Mind-boggling effort."

1y 1m ago

99p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 2009  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Ruby. Scented, layered, nuanced, cassis, minerals, seductive and complex, superb nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, lively and nuanced, minerals, detailed, gorgeous wine, seductive all the way, incredible length. 99"

1y 9m ago

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