2011 - Ch Haut Brion 1er Cru Pessac-Léognan
Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2020 - 2036
Case size
6x75cl

2011 CH HAUT BRION 1ER CRU PESSAC-LÉOGNAN - 6x75cl

Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2020 - 2036
Case size
6x75cl

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Tasting Notes

  • GDH

    Goedhuis, April 2012,
    Score: 93-95

    A complex and restrained Haut Brion highlighting the benefits of almost 20% of cabernet franc to support the merlot and cabernet sauvignon. This has delicious sweet ripe fruit aromas. A very densly structured wine, expressing real poise and masculinity and a lovely gravely terroir feel. This is a fine example of why Haut Brion is so often considered the most intellectually styled 1st growth. Huge promise.

  • RP

    Robert Parker, April 2012,
    Score: 92-95

    Like its stablemate La Mission-Haut-Brion, Haut-Brion’s 2011 production was small, only 7,600 cases, which is nearly 3,000 fewer cases than in 2009. A blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc, it is interesting to taste the 2011 Haut-Brion next to the more open-knit, seductive 2011 La Mission Haut-Brion. The former wine is more firm, backward and earthy with a more formidably structured style. Undeniably elegant, distinctive and original, it exhibits notes of mulberries, plums, blueberries and raspberries. Jean-Philippe Delmas told me that in many ways the 2011 reminds him of the 2008 from an aromatic and structural profile. There is plenty of tannin, and the 2011 has 25-30 years of aging potential. It may be more reminiscent of a vintage such as 1988, but it is better made as well as being the product of a far stricter selection process. Drink: 2012-2042.

  • JS

    James Suckling, April 2012,
    Score: 94-95

    Complex aromas of brown sugar, sweet tobacco and dark fruits. Turns to hints of prunes and cocoa. Full-bodied, with ultra fine tannins and a wonderful length. Refined and silky. Beautiful balance. Such wonderful length. Turns chewy yet very polished.

  • DC

    Decanter, April 2012,
    Score: 18.5

    Deep velvety red, wild roses bouquet, taffeta smooth texture, great precision and clarity, restrained and aristocratic. Drink 2020-2040. (5 stars).

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, April 2012,
    Score: 18.5

    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. Drink 2020-2040.

  • WS

    Wine Spectator, April 2012,
    Score: 93-96

    Manages to harness the angularity of the vintage extremely well, almost burying the acidity in the core of cassis, black cherry skin, plum pit and maduro tobacco flavors. This is typically among the most backward wines of the vintage when young, and it's still tight and primal, but with admirable length and density already. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Tasted non-blind.

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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.