Château Haut-Brion 2011
• Domaine: Château Haut-Brion
• A.O.C.: Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux
• Classification: First Growth, 1er Grand Cru Classé in 1855
• Varietals: 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 65% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc
Château Haut-Brion is a superb wine among the First Growths. It was the only wine not from Médoc, but instead from Graves area when originally listed among the Premier Grand Cru Classé in 1855. It was also on the inaugural list of Grand Cru Classé de Graves in 1959. In 1987, when Pessac-Léognan was carved out of Graves as an independent AOC, Haut-Brion became a member of Pessac-Léognan. However, people continue to interchangeably identify Haut-Brion as both Graves and Pessac-Léognan.
"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. Tasted December 2016." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2/28/2017, Issue 229), Rating: 94, Drink from: 2021-2045
"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." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (4/25/2012, Issue 200), Ratings: 92-95, Drink from: 2012-2042