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  • Country ranking ?

    1 189
  • Producer ranking ?

    79
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

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 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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Vintage 2001

Bordeaux / The year 2001 is known as the year of the winegrowers. The whole of Bordeaux suffered from a lot of rain and the resulting noble rot. Sauternes has been producing its best wines for decades, and there is good reason to talk about the Sauternes revolution. The best wine of the year is clearly Yquem. Parker's hundred-point Yquem sold for 300 euros en primeur, and today the price is 600 euros per bottle.

For red wines, the year was difficult. Cabernet Sauvignon, thanks to its thicker skin, did better than Merlot. The cold, rainy and cloudy growing period caused the grapes to ripen too slowly. The areas had to work more intensively. The grapes were rather small and produced concentrated wines. Latour can be considered the best buy. Good buys also include Ausone, Pétrus and Le Pin.

Sauternes Vintage Report: Rapid appearance of botrytis on ripe grapes, rich in sugar. Ideal October: brief rainstorms, high temperatures, windy and sunny afternoons. Very sweet but balanced wines with pronounced noble rot and remarkable complexity. A memorable year and very uniform success for all liqueurs.

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Tasting note

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Written Notes

Tasted four times - last time in February 2010. Consistent notes. Immensely concentrated and aromatic (red fruit). Deep and well-structured. You don't find much finesse or elegance here, but sheer power and strength. A real macho wine. 2010-2035.
  • 95p
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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

Inside Information

95 points Wine Spectator

  Intense aromas of violets, berries and spices follow through to a full-bodied palate, with layers of supersilky tannins and a long, long finish. Very classic in style. All in elegance and length. I like it better than the 2000. Best after 2009.   (3/ 2004)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  Haut-Brion's 2001, which was bottled late (the end of September, 2003), possesses an unmistakable nobility as well as a burgeoning complexity. Plum/purple to the rim, this blend of 52% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Cabernet Franc is playing it close to the vest, having closed down considerably after bottling. Nevertheless, it reveals pure notes of sweet and sour cherries, black currants, licorice, smoke, and crushed stones. Medium-bodied with excellent purity, firm tannin, and an angular, structured finish, it requires 5-7 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2020+.   (6/ 2004)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  Good ruby-red. Redcurrant, plum, tobacco and flowers on the nose. Suave and light on its feet, with excellent integrated acidity framing and extending the flavors. Classy and classic wine, finishing with ripe, building tannins. This would be perfect with a cigar. Today Delmas and Masclet prefer this 2002 to the 2001 Haut-Brion, but for La Mission they give the edge to the 2001.   (6/ 2005)

Jancis Robinson

  Slightly darker colour. Thicker, denser and sweeter than the La Mission on the nose but much tighter and more tannic on the palate. Chewy and clearly set for great things. 18.5/20 points.   (3/ 2012)

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