2018 Château Haut-Brion, 1er Cru Pessac-Léognan

Complex with fantastic phenolics, the 2018 floods the palate with flavours of fresh blackcurrants and black plums. The structure here is really impressive, with a hint of toast and spice. Another terrific Haut-Brion.

Critic score
97.25/100

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WINE DETAILS

  • Region & country
    Pessac-Léognan, Graves, Bordeaux, France
  • Grape
    49.4% Merlot
    38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon
    11.9% Cabernet Franc
  • Maturity
    Young 2028 - 2060
  • Colour
    Red
  • Sweetness
    Dry
  • Style
    Still
  • Unit Volume
    Bottle (75cl.)
  • ABV
    14.5%
  • Classification
    Premier Cru
2018 Château Haut-Brion, 1er Cru Pessac-Léognan

TASTING NOTES

The 2018 Haut-Brion is a blend of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 6 to October 2. Deep purple-black in color, it is much more closed than the La Mission. It holds back for the first few minutes, reticent to reveal what slowly uncoils to give wave after wave of exotic spices—cardamom, cassis, star anise and fenugreek—over an opulent core of red roses, Black Forest cake, warm cassis and black raspberries with nuances of cigar box, crushed rocks, truffles, tilled black soil, iron ore and smoked meats. The full-bodied palate is truly profound, with restrained black fruit and spice layers slowly offering mineral sparks and savory suggestions within a rock-solid frame of firm, super fine-grained tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. This will take longer to come around than the La Mission, but it will be well worth the wait.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019)
(97—99+)/100

A beautiful Haut-Brion that combines generosity and elegance. It's rich, and velvety, with a vibrant ruby rim, all conveying structure and a sense of power. The flavour floods in through the mid-palate, displaying wonderfully vibrant blackberry, blueberry, slate, touches of blond tobacco, freshly cut herbs and exotic spicing. You can feel in the texture that it's a warm year, not holding back. It's powerful but elegant and unforced at the same time, with some brambled edges that give a welcome sense of acidity and a touch of bitterness. Harvested 6 September to 2 October, yielding 44hl/ha. 3.8pH. IPT72 - the same level as 2015, but it was a little higher in 2010 and 2009.

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2019)
(98)/100

The length and texture to this wine is so very impressive. It’s not so much the sheer power that is impressive here, rather the form, tension and exquisite form that the abundant, fine-grained tannins provide. It lasts for minutes on the palate. A classic beauty in the making.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2019)
(98—99)/100

The 2018 Haut-Brion is a regal wine. Creamy, soft and inviting, the 2018 is one of the more open-knit young Haut-Brions I can remember tasting. Cedar, tobacco, smoke, licorice, grilled herbs, leather and menthol are nicely layered in the glass. In 2018, Haut-Brion is almost shockingly elegant at this very early stage. There is plenty of tannin, but it is totally woven into the wine's fabric. In 2018, the blend is 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc.

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (April 2019)
(93—96)/100