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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.
1953 A VERY GOOD YEAR
A very good harvest at Haut-Brion. The wine is supple, elegant and vinous. On the palate, it is very tasty, long and harmonious, still with plenty of fruit. An excellent wine that can age even more.
Sum of temperatures : 3198 °C
Rain : 367 mm
Days where temperature above 30 °C : 27
Harvest : from 29/09/1953 to 12/10/1953
Current vintage notes
This is an August vintage, which was a fabulous month, boasting 15 mm of
rainfall and 15 days above 30°C (86?F):.
The September weather was more inclement and the harvest was marked by rain. Excess heat was even feared, leading some to talk of the wine being overheated… Yet, there were plenty of great wines for this vintage.
The 1953 became the first top vintage of the 1950s. The year turned out to be excellent, even if the heavy rains in September threatened to destroy a good year. The hot, dry summer was capped by a perfect August. The mercury exceeded 30°C for more than half of the days in August. Fortunately, rains in mid-September gave way to ideal harvest conditions in early October. The best wines of this vintage are united by their elegance, delicacy and temperance. They should ideally be decanted for two hours before drinking. The vintage received praise particularly in the Médoc, which produced the best wines of the entire vintage. One of the most famous of them is Château Lafite-Rothschild. Many consider him to be the best Lafite-Rothschild of the entire 20th century. Although Graves and Sauternes also produced high-level wines, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion today offer just as many exceptional creatures, with the crème de la crème being Cheval Blanc and Lafleur.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|1 121€ +50.7%