1989 - Ch Haut Brion 1er Cru Pessac-Léognan
Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2003 - 2030
Case size
12x75cl

1989 CH HAUT BRION 1ER CRU PESSAC-LÉOGNAN - 12x75cl

Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2003 - 2030
Case size
12x75cl

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Tasting Notes

  • RP1

    Robert Parker, January 2003,
    Score: 100

    This continues to be one of the immortal wines and one of the greatest young Bordeaux wines of the last half-century. Consistently prodigious and almost a sure bet to top the scoring card of any blind tasting of this vintage as well as other years, the 1989 Haut-Brion is a seamless, majestic classic, and a tribute to this phenomenal terroir and its singular characteristics. The wine still has a very thick, viscous-looking ruby/purple color, a spectacular, young but awesome smorgasbord of aromas ranging from scorched earth, liquid minerals, graphite, blackberry and black currant jam to toast, licorice, and spice box. The levels of fruit, extract, and glycerin in this viscous, full-bodied, low-acid wine are awe-inspiring. The brilliant symmetry of the wine, extraordinary purity, and seamlessness are the hallmarks of a modern-day legend. It is still in its pre-adolescent stage of development, and I would not expect it to hit its full plateau of maturity for another 3-5 years, but this should be an Haut-Brion that rivals the greatest ever made at this estate. Life is too short not to drink this wine as many times as possible! A modern day clone of the 1959? Anticipated maturity: 2005-2030. Last tasted, 1/03.

  • RP

    Robert Parker, February 1997,
    Score: 100

    Drink 2003-2028 Haut-Brion has been the most consistent first-growth over the last decade, producing top-notch wines, even in such tough years as 1987, 1993, and 1994. The 1989 is one of a handful of truly profound wines from a vintage that tends to be overrated, save for the Pomerols, a few St.-Emilions, and some overachievers in the Medoc. However, 1989 was an extraordinary success for Jean Delmas, the administrator of Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion. The prodigious 1989 Haut-Brion is one of the greatest first-growths I have ever tasted. It has always reminded me of what the 1959 must have tasted like in its youth, but it is even richer and more compelling aromatically. The wine exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, as well as a sweet nose of jammy fruit, tobacco, spicy oak, minerals, and smoke. Fabulously concentrated, with huge levels of fruit, extract, and glycerin, this wine is nearly viscous because of its thickness and richness. Low acidity gives the wine even more appeal and adds to its precociousness. The wine has not budged in development since it was first bottled, although it has always provided thrilling drinking because of its voluptuous texture. It needs another 5-6 years of bottle age before it will begin to develop Haut-Brion's fabulous fragrance. Expect it to hit its plateau of maturity around 2003-2005 and drink well for 15-25 years.

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, October 2002,
    Score: 19/20

    Ch Haut Brion (double magnum) 19 Even deeper-coloured than the Mouton. Lovely rich crimson. Very very pure ripe Cabernet on the nose at this point in its evolution. Very correct and medicinal with masses of ripe tannins lurking in wait under cover of the most beautifully sweet layers of ripe fruit. This is a wonderful wine and in bottle could already be drunk if you absolutely have to.

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Producer

Château Haut-Brion

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. Situated in Pessac-Léognan in Graves, the estate is the only classified growth located outside the Médoc. Château Haut Brion has the most Merlot and the most Cabernet Franc of any of the First Growths and the second wine is Bahans Haut Brion.

Region

Pessac-Léognan

Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.