x
  • Country ranking ?

    447
  • Producer ranking ?

    21
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc

The 2015 Haut Brion Blanc is a blend of 69% Sauvignon Blanc and 31% Semillon that was picked between 28 August and 7 September. Like the 2015 La Mission Haut Brion Blanc, the bouquet was quite backward despite rigorous aeration, reluctantly proffering aromas of lime, citrus lemon, gooseberry and a touch of tinned peach. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity, perhaps even more tensile and precise than the 2015 La Mission Haut-Brion with greengage, citrus lemon and a touch of pineapple furnishing the long finish. This is a beautifully crafted Haut Brion Blanc that will reward those with the nous to cellar it for 10-15 years.

Score: 94/96

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

Dense and very powerful with reserve and seamless phenolic. Full body, sliced apple and lemon rind. So long and flavorful. A beautiful and balanced wine. Undertones of oyster shell and stone. Excellent as always.

Score: 96/97

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

The 2015 Haut-Brion Blanc brings together freshness with power like few wines in this vintage. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint and ripe orchard fruit all open up in the glass. In this vintage, the white is Sauvignon Blanc dominated, but it doesn’t taste like it at all. Beams of salinity give the 2015 its focus and energy through the finish. This is a stellar showing.

Score: 94/97

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

The nose has depth sweet fruit the palate an opulence depth of flavour with tropical fruits backed by yellow peach. There is balance the mid sweetness underpinned by citrus freshness layers of flavour complexity. Fleshy and sweet at the back the finish is lighter and fresher there is the feel of power yet elegance.

Score: 93/96

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

Among the best white wines of the vintage, as it always is, this white Haut-Brion is as brilliant as it is rare. Broad, leesy and concentrated, this shows some of the heat of the vintage, but is balanced by acidity, structure and freshness. Candle wax, toast and pink grapefruit. Drink: 2017-30

Score: 95

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

Dense and lively. Turbo-charged Sauvignon! Some real elegance and lift - honey and the race of Sauvignon. Expressive. Drink 2022-2032

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016

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The Story

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.

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Vintage 2015

Excitement about the potential of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage – and wine made in several other parts of France last autumn – has been rising for months. In Bordeaux,  but also in Burgundy,  Champagne and the Rhône, conditions were close to  ideal last summer.

Hours of sunshine and average temperatures were the highest since records began – even higher than in “mythical” wine-growing years such as 1921 and 1947. “We think we have something very special but we are holding our tongues until the tasting begins,” said a family member at one of the most sought-after châteaux in the Médoc growing region. 

Denis Dubourdieu, professor of wine at the University of Bordeaux and one of the most successful Bordeaux winemakers, told The Independent: “I don’t think there can be any doubt. This will be an exceptional year, in line with memorable years like 2009 and 2005.

“Everything about the growing season last year was perfect. And from what I’ve seen at the wine-making stage and in the barrel later on,  this is going to be a wonderful vintage.” Mr Dubourdieu says that  producing wine is like a horse-race with five meteorological “fences”. In 2015, he says, Bordeaux jumped all the hurdles with ease.

The vines flowered early in warm sunshine; the tiny grapes appeared in perfect dry weather; they turned purple in ideal conditions of slight drought in mid-July; they expanded and ripened in a warm, dry August with just a little rain; and they were picked in a dry autumn with cool nights. This is like getting all the numbers right in the lottery. 

There were excellent claret vintages in 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 and a reasonable year in 2012. In the past two years, to the annoyance of many people in the industry, Bordeaux has been criticised or faintly praised. There have also been complaints about the fact that the top châteaux kept their prices high, despite the apparent dip in quality. 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Tasted in April 2016. showed as splendidly as 2015 LMHB and the only thing which put HB in the front of LMHB, was more intensity, more depth and longer finish.
  • 96p
Bright yellow with green hue. Elegant but persistent nose with pure fruit, fresh grapefruit and tangerine, hints of lime-zest. In the background tropical fruit, passionfruit and mango, hints of vanilla and slightly mineral character. On the palate rich fruit in combination with freshness and elegant acidity, excellent length. A great wine with class, Sauvignon-Blanc driven, with very complex character.
  • 98p
Pale colour. Intense lemon curd, white flowers, grapefruit aromas with vanilla nuances. Beautiful roundness and density. Lemon curd, grapefruit flavours, fresh long mineral acidity. Pure lemony finish with aniseed notes. Very attractive wine with plenty of potential. Alcohol quite high at 15.3%. 95 points.
  • 95p

Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Best buy

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Other wines from this producer

Château Haut-Brion

La Clarté de Haut-Brion

Le Clarence de Haut-Brion

Plantiers de Haut-Brion

Inside Information

he 2015 vintage: Following in the footsteps of the greatest vintages

Spring 2015 (April, May, and June) was very dry. This was conducive to excellent flowering conditions, both quick and even. July was also a dry month. The effects of water stress were obvious in plots with the youngest vines.  Fortunately, it finally rained on July 26th (14 mm), which gave a new impetus to the young Merlot vines and enabled véraison, or colour change, to take place unhindered.

The level of precipitation from March to June was much lower than the average of the last sixty-years.  These drought conditions slowed down vegetative growth starting in July.  This allowed the vine's vigour to be channelled into ripening the fruit.  Another consequence of the cumulative dry, hot summer weather was very thick skins.

 

This led us to look after the vines with the greatest of care, giving tailor-made attention to each one. Leaf and bunch thinning were thus carried out to varying degrees and at different times.  These two operations occurred early in the season and were intense for Merlot and Cabernet Franc, but took place later and were less intense for Cabernet Sauvignon and the white wine varieties. Going through the vines repeatedly to pluck leaves and thin bunches improved ventilation and enhanced ripening.

August was hot as well as rainy – which everyone in Bordeaux had been hoping for. This rain enabled the vines to maintain the necessary water reserves and to provide requisite nourishment for perfect ripeness. The harvest began in September under a clear blue sky. Thanks to this ideal weather, we were able to wait for optimum ripeness for each grape variety.

All the conditions are there to allow 2015 to join the greatest vintages of Haut-Brion and  Mission Haut-Brion.

 

Red wines

Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 
The colour is very deep with attractive red highlights. The first impression on the nose is of ripe fruit. Swirling in the glass shows the bouquet's intensity and complexity.  2015 Clarence is tasty and full-bodied from the very first, going on to show refined, tight-knit tannin. The wine leaves an impression of freshness and plenty of volume, but without heaviness.

57% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon – The harvest lasted from the 8th of September to the 5th of October.

 

Château Haut-Brion
Very beautiful, deep, garnet-red colour.   The nose is ripe and concentrated.  After swirling in the glass, it becomes more complex with hints of very ripe – but not excessively so – red and black fruit. There are also liquorice nuances and a soupçon of clove. The wine starts out with a very soft mouth feel and immediately shows tremendous volume and depth in every respect, with flavours reminiscent of ripe fruit and cocoa beans.  The long aftertaste features mocha and slightly bitter coffee nuances. Barrel ageing will undoubtedly bring out more of this wine's greatness and confirm its place among the finest vintages of Château Haut-Brion.

50% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon – The harvest lasted from the 8th of September to the 5th of October.

 

White wines

La Clarté de Haut-Brion
2015 La Clarté has a very attractive, expressive nose of citrus, especially grapefruit, with lemon nuances. The wine starts out very rich and attractive on the palate with medium volume, as well as plenty of depth and attractive flavours.

27% Sauvignon Blanc, 73% Sémillon – The harvest lasted from the 28th of August to the 8th of September.

 

Château Haut-Brion 
White Château Haut-Brion has a complex nose revealing hints of mango, lychee, pineapple, rose petal, and pepper. The Sauvignon Blanc comes through beautifully here.  The wine is full and fruity on the palate, going on to show breadth, richness, and a superb, saline mouth-watering aftertaste.

69% Sauvignon Blanc, 31% Sémillon – The harvest lasted from the 28th of August to the 7th of September.

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Wine Moments

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

96p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2015  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Tasted in April 2016. showed as splendidly as 2015 LMHB and the only thing which put HB in the front of LMHB, was more intensity, more depth and longer finish."

9m 11d ago

95p
 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2015  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Pale colour. Intense lemon curd, white flowers, grapefruit aromas with vanilla nuances. Beautiful roundness and density. Lemon curd, grapefruit flavours, fresh long mineral acidity. Pure lemony finish with aniseed notes. Very attractive wine with plenty of potential. Alcohol quite high at 15.3%. 95 points. "

1y 1m ago

98p
 Markus Del Monego / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2015  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Bright yellow with green hue. Elegant but persistent nose with pure fruit, fresh grapefruit and tangerine, hints of lime-zest. In the background tropical fruit, passionfruit and mango, hints of vanilla and slightly mineral character. On the palate rich fruit in combination with freshness and elegant acidity, excellent length. A great wine with class, Sauvignon-Blanc driven, with very complex character. "

1y 1m ago

95p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2015  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Pale lemon yellow. Apples, pears, peach, ripe gooseberries and a touch of citrus nose. Fresh acidity, fresh, fruity, ripe, intense, elegant structure and body, detailed, layered, long. 94-96"

1y 1m ago

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