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.
94-96. Barrel sample. An impressively silky wine. Dry yet intensely fruity, the palate shows big fruit, smooth tannins and a perfumed character.
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.
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.
Elegant, cedary dark-fruit aroma. Tight and lively with just enough flesh in the middle. Quite chewy and again has a sort of smudgy palate. Julia Harding MW
Smoky dark, red fruits, tobacco, flowers, espresso and caramel scents create the perfume. Refined in style, the wine has soft tannins and a liberal dose of cherry griotte in the elegant finish. Having tasted some lighter vintages of Haut Brion over the past few days, this should develop nicely with 5-10 years of age.
by jeff leve in 2014
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