Tasted April 2022. Spicy, smoky and brooding on the nose, the 2021 from Haut Brion is tightly coiled, full of precise dark fruit and some balancing crunchy red berries. On the palate, earthy, spicy, savoury notes add masses of complexity waiting to unfurl with time in bottle. There's lots of freshness and a bright, fruit-driven finish. 13.8%.
A candidate for the title of wine of the vintage, the 2021 Haut-Brion unwinds in the glass with aromas of rich red and black fruit mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, licorice, black truffles, loamy soil and burning embers. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's elegant and multidimensional, with superb depth at the core, lively acids and ultra-refined tannins. Combining the classical proportions of the vintages of two decades ago with the viticultural and winemaking of today, it's a timeless classic in the making, but it's difficult to find an obvious analogy with an older vintage. When pressed, Jean-Philippe Delmas suggests a superior version of the 2014 vintage, and to me, a more concentrated, serious version of the 2012 vintage also comes to mind. What is clear, however, is that this is one of the real high points of 2021. The blend is 50% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc, and it attained 13.8% alcohol—a percentage point or so lower than in 2020 or 2019.
Ready 2017 - 2027
Prices shown in bond
Young 2028 - 2052
Young 2022 - 2032