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  • Country ranking ?

    216
  • Producer ranking ?

    13
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Roast Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto & Mustard Crumbs

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 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

1959 was proclaimed the wine year of the century by overzealous journalists. Even though it was an excellent year, it simply was not the best of the century. The year started off with ideal weather conditions. Summer was perfect all the way until the autumn, when the rains came in mid-September. But the rains made way for hot, dry weather, thus setting a magnificent stage for the start of the harvest.

The result was a truly ripe and juicy crop. The reds are typically full-bodied, with soft acidity and a fat mouthfeel that comes from the high alcohol content. Even though the vintage is generally compared to 1961, it has much in common with the 1949. The Sauternes vintage was equally a success and the region produced some very long-lived wines. Once again the Château Lafite-Rothschild achieved complete success, sharing the title of best wine of the vintage with the Haut-Brion. Right on their heels is the Pétrus, which should be decanted for at least three hours before drinking, and the La-Mission-Haut-Brion.

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Vintage 1959

Bordeaux 1959 was proclaimed the wine year of the century by overzealous journalists. Even though it was an excellent year, it simply was not the best of the century. The year started off with ideal weather conditions. Summer was perfect all the way until the autumn, when the rains came in mid-September. But the rains made way for hot, dry weather, thus setting a magnificent stage for the start of the harvest.  The result was a truly ripe and juicy crop. The reds are typically full-bodied, with soft acidity and a fat mouthfeel that comes from the high alcohol content. Even though the vintage is generally compared to 1961, it has much in common with the 1949. The Sauternes vintage was equally a success and the region produced some very long-lived wines. Once again the Château Lafite-Rothschild achieved complete success, sharing the title of best wine of the vintage with the Haut-Brion. Right on their heels is the Pétrus, which should be decanted for at least three hours before drinking, and the La-Mission-Haut-Brion.

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2012 2010 2005
1 803€ +13.4% 1 590€ +4.5% 1 522€ +5.8% 1 439€ +61.7% 890€

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

22 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long, Extensive and Spicy

flavors

Blackcurrant, Voluptuous, Smoky, Leather, Earthy and Mineral

nose

Intense and Ripe

recommend

Yes

taste

Complex, Concentrated, Well-structured, Full-bodied, Rich, Harmonious and Firm

Written Notes

First up was 1959 Chateau Haut Brion, which had a spectacular nose of chocolate and tobacco. There was plenty of zip left in it with some band-aid, charcoal and gravel aromas to add complexity. I could sense how long the palate was before I tasted it, and it was terrific and sensual, full of chocolatey, creamy and tasty greatness. There was lots of gravel on the finish, and Hamburger found a ‘particular freshness to it’ (98).

  • 98p

Full medium red. Grilled nuts and maple syrup on the nose, along with a whiff of old wood; slight suggestion of maderization. Vinous but on the lean side, with a slight hardness. A less-than-stellar bottle that losing its fruit. ($1,395-$1,475): Old aromas of plum, marzipan and nutty oak. Lovely sweetness and mellow fruit enlivened by superb vinosity. Complicating note of tobacco. Very much an old wine but still with considerable appeal and length, if a trace of finishing dryness. But not a great bottle of this wine, which I've scored in the recent past as high as 98 points.

  • 93p

Cassis and plums, along with some smokiness, on the stunning bouquet of this wine. This wine needed the accompanying cuisine to truly shine. Gravelly soil tones, deep dark fruit, and a beautifully rounded muscularity that is never overdone, but it has enticing heft, a rich core of fruit, just melting tannins, and some dazzling sweetness peering out coquettishly from the underbrush. The fine texture predominates past the mid palate, as it rallies for a pronounced finale, dark fruit infused, with that tinge of smokiness once more -- joyously classic and complex. 96 Points

  • 96p
Tasted 10 times. Consistent notes. I've been so lucky to taste this wine 10 times during the last 19 years and it's never, never and never disappointed! It's extremely rare for a wine lover to experience such a magnifique and perfect wine, which decade after decade remains young and vigorous. This wine is simply nectar of the Gods and one of true wine legends in Bordeaux. I'm pretty sure that it easily can impress for another decade or two or three....
  • 100p
Top shoulder fill, ruby, brick rim. Scented, cigars, cedar, minerals, jasmin, mulberries, figs, prunes, detailed and intense and seductive nose. Layered and complex. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh and fruity, lively, detailed, rich, intense and fruity, ripe fruits, figs, leather, spices, exotic, long finish. 98
  • 98p
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Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Average

Glass time

2h

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #103
Feb 1996
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 93 Drink: N/A $1500-$6902
The 1959 Haut-Brion did not live up to expectations. I have had nearly perfect examples of the 1959, often preferring it ever so slightly to the 1961 when tasted side by side. That was not the case in Munich. Although the 1959 was outstanding, it seemed less concentrated, more disjointed, and more evolved than the 1961, displaying a more roasted aromatic profile, and less sweetness and unctuosity than previous bottles.

The notes for this wine are taken from the description of Series IV - Flight D of the 1995 tasting conducted in Munich by Helga and Hardy Rodenstock. Many years after the tasting from which this note derives allegations were made concerning the authenticity of old and rare bottles of wine sold by Hardy Rodenstock to collectors around the world. The matter has been the subject of numerous articles, litigation and at least one book. Mr. Parker believes that the wines served to him at this tasting were authentic so this note and the others from that specific tasting continue to be posted on eRobertParker.com.

 

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88p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Château Haut-Brion 1959  ( 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:)"

9y 1m ago

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