x
  • Country ranking ?

    62
  • Producer ranking ?

    7
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now
  • Food Pairing

    Baked Brie in Puff Pastry with Fresh Strawberries

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The 1945 Haut-Brion is a vintage that I have only encountered once before in April 2004 – unequivocally a perfect bottle. Initially, this second bottle 14 years later suggested that I might have simply been very fortunate on that occasion. It was only after thirty minutes in the glass that it magically coalesces and transmogrifies into an ineffably profound wine. Deep in color without quite the same clarity as either the 1959 or 1961, it offers cranberry, cedar, sandalwood and saddle leather on the intoxicating nose, later traces of juniper. There seems to be no end to the nuances. The palate remains so vigorous after so many years, a Haut-Brion suffused with a sense of timelessness. Framed by quite noticeable tannins there are layers of mulberry, leather, cloves and warm gravel, hints of black olive and brine towards the multi-faceted finish that seems to linger forever, turning confit-like with further time in the glass. In the end you are simply lost for words.

100 points Neal Martin, Vinous Table (vinous.com), June 2018

As magnificent as the wines have been so far, there is more as we approach the flight of '5’s.' The 1945 Haut-Brion is another utterly seamless wine endowed with superb concentration for its age. Absolutely nothing is out of place in a towering, regal wine of the very highest level. Remarkably dense and structured, the 1945 has more than enough depth to drink well for another decade or more. Gentle spice and floral notes add naunce on the haunting finish. (AG) 98 points

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The Story

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.

 

 

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Wine Information

1945 AN EXCEPTIONAL YEAR An historic wine, and one of quite remarkable quality. Powerful, complex, great tannic richness, ample and fat, complete. A summit reached that can continue to improve for several more decades. Weather conditions Sum of temperatures : 3361 °C Rain : 253 mm Current vintage notes The Victory Year. Early vine growth, and there was snow on May 2nd in Bordeaux, causing a dramatic freeze which destroyed 80% of the crop. The very hot and also very dry summer produced extremely concentrated grapes.

 

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Vintage 1945

The world’s best wine vintage – 1947 or 1945? Tastingbook tasted all the best wines from these two great vintages.

If the wine producers from different regions were asked to name the best vintages from their winemaking history, the most would name 1947 or 1945 as one of the great ones. If we then compared them together there would be most likely only one vintage that the most if not every producer had named on list – 1947.

We wanted to test that theory and we tasted them agains each other and the winner was 1947 – by far.

The vintage 1947 was a magical vintage. It remains in the history as one of the only vintages that all well-established quality wine regions in the world were blessed with superb weather conditions. The heat waves  were experienced all around the world and for instance the whole Europe was bating under scorching sun and experiencing a heat wave  during the summer. This resulted very concentrated and highly ripe grapes. The producers had challenges to handle the very ripe grapes with high sugar levels as there was a constant risk of bacterial contamination in less hygenic cellars that had no artifical cooling systems. As there was no technology to use, many invoked on huge blocks of ice to cool the room temperautre down and even putting ice in their fermentation tanks.

This vintage has proven to yield very long lasting wines from all around the world. The wines are marked with sweet and ripe fruit character and warming alcohol. Due to the poorly hygenic winemaking facilities, many of the wines show volatile characters. Some might find this as a fault, but for many mature wine lovers this feature is even a preferred character. However, when buying the wines from this vintage, one should be aware that there is high level of bottle variations and the risk of having highly volatile wines is remarkably high.

1945 was an exceptional year throughout the whole France, from Côte-Rôtie to Bordeaux. Due to the warm and dry conditions, the grapes were very concentrated and produced an extraordinary, but unfortunately small yield. The harvest in 1945 was an early harvest, which started on the same date as 1982, September 13. The wines began life with massive levels of tannin and took quite a few decades to develop. Due to the high tannin levels, many of the wines still show well today.

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
4 288€ +13.2% 3 788€ +49.0% 2 543€ +21.2% 2 099€ -10.0% 2 333€ -4.5% 2 443€ +4.2% 2 344€ +117.4% 1 078€ +98.5% 543€ +112.1% 256€

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.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

48 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium and Brick red

ending

Medium, Smooth and Extensive

flavors

Tobacco, Herbs, Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Nutty and Chocolate

nose

Intense, Complex, Opulent and Ripe

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Low tannin, Concentrated, Complex, Perfectly balanced, Developing, Full-bodied, Firm, Rich, Vigor and Dry

Written Notes

The 1945 Haut Brion is another one of my favorite things from the greatest vintage of all-time, and this bottle was some sexy goodness.  It had a stonier nose, but all that rich, caramel and toffee action that makes this wine so great.  It had a very thick finish, enough to make me smack that (97).
 

  • 97p
This legendary Haut-Brion is a truly classic Bordeaux that epitomizes complexity. Excellent-looking bottle. Decanted for one and a half hours. Superbly integrated aromas of sweet black fruits, roasted herbs, tobacco, chocolate and walnuts make it memorable. Its lively, firm texture keeps it fresh to drink. Full-bodied with enormous concentration, masses of fruit perfectly balanced. Tannins are fully integrated and softened. A remarkable taste experience from start to the solid, smooth finish. This wine has about all one can ask for from a wine this age.
  • 100p

The 1945 Haut-Brion is poured against the legendary 1945 Mouton and might just have come out on top. It is difficult to put this wine into words. Showing modest bricking, it presents a sublime bouquet of vibrant red fruit, warm gravel, wilted rose petals and a hint of earthenware. It is crystalline in terms of definition. The palate follows suit with pitch-perfect acidity, a very slight, refreshing hint of balsamic, and finely chiseled tannins. Beguiling in every way, this is a profound Haut-Brion that is absolutely flawless. Tasted at Koala's 1945 dinner.

  • 100p

Haut Brion 1945 – old blackcurrant aroma on the nose, some scent of truffles, much better on the palate with strong backbone and depth. Balance in this wine suffers a bit. Persistent finish. 92p.

  • 92p

945 Château Haut-Brion, chocolate, red berries, minerals, pepper, floral, prunes, terracotta, cherries and leather, layered, detailed, gorgeous, sweet and sour, tea, figs, the list goes on and on. Superb again. 98p

  • 98p

Spices, cigar box and cloves on the lovely nose. Currants and earthy minerality as it opens with regal allure. Spices and flowers embrace on the mid palate. Elegant, yet dense with flavor, nuts and sweet black fruits emerge next. Then mocha flirts with strawberries, and the finish is refined, complex, and yet emphatic, gloriously graceful and with remarkable length. This is a wine of exquisite appeal. 98 Points

  • 98p
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Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

Serious

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

18

Inside Information

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 31/10/1994 Tasted 5 Times With Consistent Notes The 1945 Haut-Brion is profound. It demonstrates the essence of Haut-Brion's style. The color remains a healthy, opaque garnet with only slight amber at the edge. A huge, penetrating bouquet of sweet black fruits, smoked nuts, tobacco, and tar soars from the glass. The wine possesses extraordinary density and extraction of fruit, massive, full-bodied, unctuously-textured flavors that reveal little tannin, and copious quantities of glycerin and alcohol. It is a fabulously rich, monumental example of a fully mature Haut-Brion that exhibits no signs of decline. Awesome!

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

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95p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 1945  ( Château Haut-Brion )

"Excellent event- Dom Perignon 1975 rose mg surprisingly fresh and vivid, at the end of the day, the best Haut Brion were 1989, 1961, 1945, 1982, ....36 vintages:)"

8y 11m ago

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