The 32% of Sémillon in the blend this year is unusually high for Ch Haut Brion Blanc, but it most certainly works, providing a density and body to the fabulously crisp and intense flavours of the Sauvignon. Lots of citrus and grapefruit flavours, very concentrated, with outstanding length.
The Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2014 is a blend of 32% Sauvignon Blanc and 68% Sémillon picked between 3 and 11 September. I found the Sémillon more expressive here and offers waxy, resinous scents intermingling with pear skin and fresh gooseberry. The palate is fresh and vibrant with more weight than the La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc '14: extremely well balanced with spine-tingling poise and power on the finish. You can barely notice the 14.75% alcohol. This is a thrilling Haut-Brion Blanc that vies with Domaine de Chevalier Blanc as "king of the dry whites."
68% Sémillon, 32% Sauvignon Blanc. Rich and waxy. Broad and refined and already satisfying. Deep and rich and a great undertow. Just a little green streak but massive weight. 14.55% Drink 2018-2032
The is breathtaking like looking down a well that doesn’t end. Full and rich yet deep and gorgeous. It really does take your breath away. It goes on and on with minerals, dried apples, dried mangos and lime. Superb. This is very unique in the blend with 68% sémillon and the rest being sauvignon.
The 2014 Haut-Brion Blanc is a wine of texture above all else. It is also tightly wound and built for the long-term. Hints of smoke, slate, pear and citrus gradually unfold, revealing veins of supporting minerality and acidity that give the wine much of its energy. Deep, powerful and exotic, the Haut-Brion Blanc will captivate readers for many years to come. I very much like the sense of energy and overall tension here. The blend is 68% Sémillon and 32% Sauvignon Blanc.
A striking purity with real depth of stone fruit and citrus flavour and beautiful grip that holds on for minutes after you have finished tasting. This is an incredible wine, tension, vigour, purity, the result of great selection and steady-as-she-goes confidence in the winemaking. The acidity is high, which I am sure is why they needed to up the Semillon more than is some years, to balance the freshness with rich round fruits, lemon curd and apricot, totally gorgeous. The blend is 68% Semillon, 32% Sauvignon, 14.75%abv. Drink: 2018-2030
(68 Semillon, 32 Sauvignon Blanc) | 54% new oak. This was the very last wine that I tasted on my En Primeur tour and it felt like a case of saving the best for last. Heroic in every way, this is a rich, full-bodied wine which stays immensely fresh and lively thanks to the tension and nerve of the fine acid line which runs the length of the flavour. This is also the longest white wine of the year, too - it lasted half an hour on my drive back into Bordeaux. With 54% new oak barely making an impression on the lusty, creamy fruit this is truly one of the great white wines of the world.
Arguably the oldest recognised Bordeaux grand cru, Haut Brion has been owned by the American Dillon family since 1935. The Château was an early moderniser - the first estate to implement steel vats in 1961 - and over the years, their incredible investments have re-established the inherent quality of this property, enabling it to emerge as possibly the most consistent first growth since the 1980s. Second wine is Bahans Haut Brion.
When the Romans first planted a few vines on the limestone outcrops of St Emilion in the early years of the first century, and tasted what was, by all accounts, rather thin, bitter wine, they can hardly have imagined that the region's greatest red wines would become the most sought afterfine wines in the world. From the days in the seventeenth century when the then owners of Ch Haut Brion, the de Pontac family, became the first to export to the UK, selling their wine in their own tavern, the Pontac's Head, red Bordeaux or claret has been the Englishman's favourite. The wines of the 1855 Classification are merely the tip of the iceberg. Bordeaux AC accounts for about half of all wine produced in the area, from vineyards outside the regional or communal appelations and often blended by the negociant houses. Simpler beasts these although still clearly related to their more illustrious cousins - relatively light and fresh, full of fruit, with soft tannins making for delicious, and good value, early drinking.