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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
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.
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.
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.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|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€|