Haut-Brion Blanc is as renowned as it is scarce, with only about 8,000 bottles available per vintage for a very demanding market. It is often regarded as the greatest white of Bordeaux, although Haut-Brion Blanc’s sibling, Laville Haut-Brion, sometimes equals and occasionally surpasses it. The white vineyards at Haut-Brion are planted to 63 percent Sémillon and 37 percent Sauvignon Blanc, a weighting that gives this wine its particularly plush combination of Sémillon-driven body and Sauvignon-influenced scent of musk. Haut-Brion Blanc ages beautifully.
White Bordeaux does not come much more layered and powerful than this. Strong oak roasted nut notes are evident on the nose but dissipate quickly on the palate. Taut yet shapely refreshing but rich. A large framed wine that manages to find harmony. Alongside exotic touches of stone fruit there are some wonderfully energising fruit characteristics of crystallised lemon rind, grapefruit and lime. Long, complex and very intense without being too weighty.
Château Haut-brion's tasting notes / Fruit aromas gain the upper hand over floral notes. At first, ripe Sauvignon dominates, through fresh mint with a touch of anise, telltale musk emboldened with suggestions of almonds and hazelnuts ever so slightly caressed with praline. But floral cadences are still present: those of the vine itself, all in delicacy and finesse, but mint, elder flower and linden are also easily distinguished. The wine offers a plump yet elegant structure, mellow and very complex. Aromas typical of the best dessert wines are also revealed: toasted almonds, with a hint of incense and beeswax. Exceptionally long finish.
Rainfall: 436 mm
Total production Gironde: 6.80 million hl
Number of days above 30°C/86˚F: 21.
Date of the harvest: 13th to 29th September.
Current vintage notes
A mild start to the year, a very wet, hot spring, followed by a dry, scorching summer: such were the weather features of this year, which has become legendary both through its date and the quality of wine produced.
Temperature records were broken: 1.5°C above average over the twelve months – a massive difference. September, hot and dry, followed suit, allowing harvesting to take place in the best possible conditions.