2023 Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2023 Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Product: 20231011247
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2023 Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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3 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 11 cases £945.00
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En Primeur Limited availability
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Description

Blend: 52% Merlot; 39% Cabernet Sauvignon; 9% Cabernet Franc.

The 2023 seemed to present a rather stern and enigmatic face during our tastings. The tannins are just as coercive as in the second wine – a characteristic that is rather atypical of the vintage. But the grand vin’s greater complexity allowed more graceful floral and hedgerow blackberry notes to be coaxed out. The finish is densely packed and deeply mineral. At this stage, the wine still seems rather hard to read. Given the château’s status, however, there is little doubt that there will be a very good wine lurking in there.

Drink 2035 - 2065

Our score: 17.5/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson98-100/100

This is an exceptional Haut-Brion, offering juice and elegant balance alongside classically structured layers, generous but restrained, sense of architecture and building blocks of a truly great Left Bank wine. Rippling with sinewy muscles, juicy and controlled, packed with cocoa bean, espresso, liouqorice root, but none of these flavours dominate, knitted together, with a vertical lift. 100% new oak, Jean-Philippe Delmas director, Jean-Philippe Masclef technical director, no outside consultant.

Drink 2035 - 2050

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous96-98/100

The 2023 Haut-Brion was picked at the same time as the La Mission Haut-Brion, albeit the secateurs sheathed one day later, on October 6. The nose is less immediate than the La Mission and the fruit is a little darker: blackcurrant, juniper, hints of black olive and a light cedar scent. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip and tension. This has superb energy, presenting a crescendo of flavors toward a complex and persistent finish that lingers in the mouth. There is real pedigree to this First Growth, and it will certainly give 30 to 40 years of drinking pleasure.

Drink 2030 - 2065

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-97/100

The 2023 Haut-Brion is superb. Silky, soft tannins enshroud a core of black fruit, gravel, chocolate, cloves and licorice, building into a potent, sumptuous, dazzling wine. Exotic and racy, with remarkable polish, this has a ton of potential. It’s an especially sensual, seamless Haut-Brion. All the 2023 needs is time—probably quite a bit of it, especially for readers who want a full-on Haut-Brion experience.

Drink 2033 - 2083

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW17.5/20

52.3% Merlot, 38.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.1% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.

Seems to have more intensity than La Mission. Deep, floral and fresh. Very fine tannins with that plush, velvety texture only Haut-Brion can do. Builds on the palate to a persistent finish so there’s a certain power as well. Stony-fresh finish.

Drink 2034 - 2055

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate95-97/100

The 2023 Haut-Brion exhibits a more Cabernet-inflected personality than the richer 2022, offering up a deep but youthfully reserved bouquet of dark wild berries, licorice, smoke and pencil lead mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, nicely integrated new oak and spices. Full-bodied, deep and velvety, it’s layered and concentrated, with a deep core of fruit structured around abundant but velvety tannins, concluding with a long, controlled finish. Somewhat reminiscent of the estate's successful 2006, it's a blend of 52.3% Merlot, 38.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9.1% Cabernet Franc.

Drink 2025 - 2055

Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling98-99/100

This is tight, yet so upright and proper, with a vertical line of fine tannin that runs true and deep. It’s medium- to full-bodied with an exquisite texture and a long, structured finish. 52.3% merlot, 38.6% cabernet sauvignon and 9.1% cabernet franc.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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Decanter98/100

A stand out wine from Haut-Brion this year and one of the most charming Primeur samples from the estate. A little sombre on the nose, quiet with dark fruit, blackcurrant and brambles. Not so open on the nose, but this wows on the palate - rich, dense for the vintage, weighty in the mouth, clearly ripe and so filling. Chewy and alive, this is brilliant with a buzz of acidity, a sharp, sour, tartness but all so excellently delivered. So charming and so cuddly, this wine wants you to adore it.

Bright and voluptuous, and not many can say that in this vintage. Really so great and still with chocolate, mint, pepper, raspberries, and floral notes all the way through. A complete knock out because it has flesh, juice, brightness and style.

3.7ph 4.3 acidity 80 IPT - second highest year after 2010 for the concentration. 42% grand vin production. A potential 100-point wine.

Drink 2034 - 2060

Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck96-98/100

The Grand Vin 2023 Château Haut-Brion checks in as 52.3% Merlot, 38.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc. It's more focused and tight compared to its sibling, the La Mission Haut-Brion, but it has riveting purity in its black raspberry, currant, smoke, leafy tobacco, and scorched earth-like aromas and flavors. It's rich and full-bodied, with building tannins and a level of purity that's just about off the charts. As with most vintages of Haut-Brion, it should be given at least a decade of bottle age.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Chateau Haut-Brion

Chateau Haut-Brion

The only property from outside the Médoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, Haut-Brion’s viticultural history can be traced back further than its Médoc First Growth counterparts.  Samuel Pepys even mentions it in his diaries.  Situated in what is now Pessac-Léognan, the property finds itself now in the suburbs of the ever-encroaching city of Bordeaux

After falling into a state of disrepair the estate was purchased in 1935 by Clarence Dillon, an American financier, since when it has enjoyed a steady and continual resurgence to a position of pre-eminence.  Dillon’s great-grandson, Prince Robert of Luxembourg, now runs the estate, but a key influence in the reputation which Haut-Brion enjoys today is the Delmas family.  George Delmas was manager and wine-maker until 1960, when his son Jean-Bernard took over. Jean- Bernard was a visionary figure, responsible for a number of important innovations, and on his retirement in 2003 his son Jean-Philippe took over as Directeur Générale.

The vineyard is planted to 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc. A stunning white wine is also made, from a part of the vineyard which is 63% Semillon and 37% Sauvignon Blanc. Production is smaller than at the other First Growth Wines, totalling about 20,000 cases, shared between the Grand Vin and a second wine, formerly called Bahans-Haut-Brion but changed in 2007 to Clarence de Haut-Brion in recognition of Clarence Dillon. Production of Haut Brion Blanc is minute, less than 800 cases in most years. 

Beginning with the 2009 vintage a new white wine was introduced in the place of Clarence: La Clarté de Haut-Brion, the offspring of Domaine Clarence Dillon's two prestigious white wines: Château Haut-Brion Blanc and Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc.

Fermentation of the red wines takes place in stainless steel vats, after which the wine will spend 22 months, sometimes more, in new oak barrels before being bottled unfiltered.  For the white wine fermentation takes place in new oak barrels, after which the wine spends a further year to 15 months on its lees in barrel before bottling.  The white wine is truly sensational, equivalent in class to a top-flight White Burgundy Grand Cru, but its scarcity means that it is rarely seen.

The red wine is no less extraordinary; at its best it displays text-book Graves characteristics of cigar-box, curranty fruit, earth, smoky spice and cassis. The high Merlot content, compared to the Médoc First Growths, gives it a voluptuous edge, but does not in any way detract from its ability to age.

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Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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