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  • Country ranking ?

    1 691
  • Producer ranking ?

    120
  • Decanting time

    45min
  • When to drink

    Now
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

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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

1956 A LESSER YEAR
A very severe selection of the wines from individual vats. Little wine bottled with the château's label. The wine has aged well with hints of bitterness in the tannin. There is good color, with some greenish highlights and good staying power in the mouth.

Weather conditions
Sum of temperatures : 3083 °C
Rain : 441 mm
Days where temperature above 30 °C : 5
Harvest : from 11/10/1956 to 20/10/1956

Current vintage notes
A severe winter in Bordeaux: -20 C in February with tremendous snowfall (80cm.) which paralyzed the region. Many vines died and in general vineyards suffered terribly. The Garonne partially froze over. Results of the cold: a very late start to the growing season, then a cold and wet summer (July 112 mm., August 104 mm.). Little wine and few good ones.

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Vintage 1956

BORDEAUX / Due to the climatic conditions and the breeding of the vines, Bordeaux produced fine and concentrated wines in 1952, 1953 and 1955. 1956 is a historic year, because it marks the beginning of a new era for Bordeaux. The reason for this paradigm shift was the shock caused by a -20°C cold spell in Bordeaux in February 1956 which killed a large swath of vines. Saint-Émilion and Pomerol were the hardest hit. Regions least affected by the killing frost still faced a delayed growing season and a cold, rainy summer. Any hope of having even a mediocre year was lost.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Medium and Sharp

flavors

Tobacco

nose

Mature

recommend

No

taste

Fresh and Hard tannins

Written Notes

Significantly better wine that Haut Brion 1957. Deep red with watery edges. Forest floor, spicy strawberries/mashed strawberries on the nose, good structure. Pleasant and round wine with fine aftertaste.
  • 90p
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Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Other wines from this producer

Château Haut-Brion Blanc

La Clarté de Haut-Brion

Le Clarence de Haut-Brion

Plantiers de Haut-Brion

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