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Château Haut-Brion is the oldest and by far the smallest of the "Premiers Grands Crus" vineyards of the Gironde 1855 classification. Château Haut-Brion is one of the few remaining family-owned domains of the Bordeaux region with a history going back to the 16th century. It has been owned by the American Dillon family since 1935.
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.
1900 AN EXCEPTIONAL YEAR
The first year of the new century! Very similar to 1899, the wines' suppleness and velvet texture eventually proved them superior to the preceding vintage.
The legendary 1900 !
The 1900 vintage in Bordeaux holds a unique place in this history, marked by a combination of factors that contributed to the character of the wines produced.
Weather Conditions: The weather conditions in Bordeaux during the 1900 growing season played a significant role in shaping the vintage. The year began with a mild winter, followed by a warm and dry spring. However, summer brought challenges, with cooler and wetter conditions than usual. These conditions persisted throughout the growing season, resulting in a late and challenging harvest.
Bordeaux 1900 Reds: The red wines of Bordeaux from the 1900 vintage have achieved legendary status among collectors and wine enthusiasts. These wines are known for their exceptional aging potential and complexity.
Appearance: The 1900 Bordeaux reds typically exhibit a deep garnet-red color with brick-red or amber hints, reflecting their considerable age.
Nose: On the nose, the 1900 Bordeaux reds offer an array of captivating aromas, including dried fruits, tobacco, cedar, leather, and hints of earthy notes. The aromatic complexity is a hallmark of this vintage.
Palate: In the mouth, the 1900 Bordeaux reds are characterized by their remarkable depth, concentration, and structure. The tannins, while present, have softened over the years, providing a velvety and luxurious mouthfeel. The wines maintain a surprising level of acidity, which contributes to their longevity. Flavors of dried fruits, cassis, and subtle spice nuances intermingle, creating a harmonious and enduring finish.
Overall Impressions: The Bordeaux 1900 vintage is celebrated as one of the finest in the region's history. These wines have aged gracefully and continue to captivate wine enthusiasts with their complexity and character. They are a testament to the exceptional winemaking traditions of Bordeaux and offer a unique opportunity to experience a moment in history through wine.
For collectors and connoisseurs, the 1900 Bordeaux wines represent a pinnacle of excellence in the world of fine wine. While finding bottles from this vintage today can be a challenge due to their rarity, those fortunate enough to taste them are rewarded with a glimpse into the enduring appeal and timeless quality that Bordeaux wines can achieve.