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  • Country ranking ?

    491
  • Producer ranking ?

    35
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Pressed guinea fowl with young vegetables

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 2011 Vintage / 2011 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion Dark red colour. Le Clarence has delicate black fruit aromas with smoky overtones eminently characteristic of the wines of Haut-Brion. The large percentage of Merlot makes this wine very unctuous and delicate on the palate from the onset, evolving softly towards a very rich tannic structure. The black cherry finish tightens up the flavour profile and features a slight, very refreshing bitternes...

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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 wonde...

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Wine Information

The weather and its consequences

One of the characteristics of 2011 was an extremely dry spring. Based on the measured rainfall in April, May and June this was the driest spring since 1949.The experienced wine lover may say that since the vine must suffer, this lack of water was a positive development. Indeed, it would have been had not two days of intense heat (June 26 and 27) arrived at the end of spring.Because of this, the circulation s...

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Vintage 2011

The 2011 vintage is not easy to handle.

Smith Haut Lafitte not only makes great white and red wine from Bordeaux in Pessac Léognan, they are also at the cutting edge of technology. They were one of the first Bordeaux wine producers to begin using optical sorting, which came in handy with the difficult 2011 Bordeaux harvest. Fabien Teitgen, long-time general manager, joined us for a long detailed conversation about what happened at Smith Hau...

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Tasting note

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Written Notes

Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2011 Haut Brion has always been an excellent Pessac-Léognan, though recent encounters suggest it does not have the potential of the 2012. It has a gentle and caressing bouquet full of copious dark cherry and raspberry fruit, a touch of saddle leather and a seam of dark chocolate emanating from the oak regime, which needs more time to integrate (though it is not an Haut-Brion that is going to demand years and years in bottle). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and feels gentle in the mouth. It is very well balanced, although perhaps the oak comes through too strongly on the finish, when frankly there is no need. Nevertheless, this is a classic Pessac-Léognan - maybe "mild mannered" and a little conservative compared to more ambitious recent vintages, yet there is no doubting its class and pedigree. Tasted December 2016.

  • 94p

Deep colour. Intense plummy/ black cherry aromas with some vanilla/ malty notes. Richly textured and beautifully concentrated wine with deep set plummy/ black cherry: dark chocolate/ inky flavours, fine grained/ sinewy tannins. Finishes very firm and tight but plenty of flavour length. 93-95 points,

  • 95p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2014. Not consistent notes. It was more tannic and stronger than La Mission Haut Brion. A bit backward.
  • 95p
From a blend of 46.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34.8% Merlot and 18.9% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached13.3% alcohol. With a beautiful ruby hue, the wine offers espresso, burnt earth, boysenberry, floral, cassis and truffle. This polished, classic, fresh, sweet, ripe, cassis loaded wine has the tannins to age and will require time. 94-95 Pts
  • 94p
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Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

3h

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

96 points James Suckling

  Lots of subtle redcurrant and berry character, with flowers and sweet tobacco on the nose. Full body, super-integrated tannins and a light shaved-chocolate, berry and cedar character. A decadence and beauty to this that wakes you up. Better in 2018.   (1/ 2014)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

  An impressively silky wine. Dry yet intensely fruity, the palate shows big fruit, smooth tannins and a perfumed character.   (4/ 2012)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  The unbelievably superb 2011 Haut-Brion (a tiny production of 7,600 cases from a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 19% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a classic nose of subtle smoldering embers, warm rocks, black currants, new saddle leather, spice box and high quality, unsmoked cigar tobacco. The color is a dense ruby/purple to the edge, and the wine cuts a serious as well as broad swath across the palate. The most amazing aspect of this terroir is that the wine, despite all its power and richness, literally dances on the palate, as if it were a 90 pound ballerina. This brilliant 2011 should evolve quickly, hitting its prime in 7-8 years, and drink beautifully for 20-25 years. (RP)   (4/ 2014)

95 points Wine Spectator

  This packs some serious density for the vintage, with layers of braised fig, blackberry pâte de fruit and dark currant paste, all inlaid with lively briar, tobacco leaf and roasted apple wood notes. Shows lots of energy through the finish, with the grip generating a mouthwatering feel. One of the stars of the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2035.   (3/ 2014)

92-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  Dark ruby-red. Big, rich and creamy on entry, then tighter and a bit austere in the middle, showing pure cassis, red berry and mineral flavors that carry through nicely on the rising finish. Very fine-grained Haut-Brion with a lingering cocoa nuance. Technical director Masclef noted that the team did shorter cuvaisons of about 15 days, vs. a typical 21, and at slightly lower temperatures too. I think the high-quality cabernet franc here has helped this wine gain a measure of refinement that is not always there in vintages with higher proportions of merlot. Another potentially great Haut Brion, more austere and less fleshy than recent efforts but very classic.   (5/ 2012)

Jancis Robinson

  Deep black cherry colour. Warm sweet cherry fruit, with the most chocolate-smooth (and in no way thick) tannins but also the acidity of fresh fruit too, fresh cherry. Very fine, intense and aromatic red fruit with just a touch of graphite. There's density and richness on the middle but such amazing softness though the tannins give tension underneath like closely packed bed springs. Like falling into a deep feather cover on a firm bed. So long. 18.5/20 points. Drink 2020-2040.   (4/ 2012)

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