Wine Region: Pessac-Leognan, France
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Elegance would be the word that best describes this wine. There exist obvious wines which spontaneously approach you and those whose reticence oblige you to draw them out to get to know them. ChÃ¢teau Haut-Brion, without a doubt, falls into the second category. Its color is a very deep red. The nose, at first reserved, opens up softly and slowly. Notes of minerals are followed by red berries, then an earthy whiff dominated by an aroma of fresh ground coffee beans. Before you know it the wine charms you with all of its incredible complexity. The mouth is silky. The treatment of this vintage's special tannins renders them astonishingly suave. Their freshness carries them along eventually towards an unending length on the palate. One will without a doubt need great patience to await the future when one can truly profit from the potential of this great vintage of ChÃ¢teau Haut-Brion.
Wine Enthusiast 96 pts
Robert Parker 96 pts - The 2006 Haut-Brion performed even better from bottle than it did from barrel. Sixty-four percent of the production went into this wine, and while it displays the vintageâ€™s powerful tannins and structure, it possesses superb concentration, and the minerality/scorched earth notes of a great Haut-Brion. Medium to full-bodied, with perhaps not quite the fleshiness of the 2005 or 2000, it is built more along the lines of the 1998 and 1996. It is a brilliant effort displaying sensational purity, texture, and length that should be exceptionally long-lived. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.
Vinous 95 pts -Â Medium ruby-red. Inviting aromas of plum, warm stones, red licorice and menthol. Suave, gentle and elegantly styled; distinctly sweeter and lusher today than the La Mission, with even more mid-palate depth. Showing more red fruits today as well, with pungent minerality giving the wine lift and juiciness. Finishes with suave but substantial building tannins. Last year this wine was showing its spine while La Mission was more opulent; in bottle it's the other way around.
Wine Spectator 94 pts -Â Offers subtle and complex aromas, with violet, cedar and blackberry. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a very long finish. Tight and curled up in a ball. Best after 2015. 11,000 cases made.
Wine & Spirits 93 pts -Â Jean-Philippe Delmas's team at Domaine Clarence Dillon produced two excellent wines in 2006 from the neighboring properties of Haut-Brion and La Mission. Both share an aristocratic stature, with Haut-Brion more immediately powerful and expressive in this vintage. As if the fruit mirrored the multicolored pebbles of the vineyard, this touches off sensory impressions of fresh currants, pomegranate, cherry pits, coriander, black raspberry, rhubarb and fennel, all seeming to emanate from the same dark and mysterious place at the center of the wine. The texture is lean and taut, with a tensile strength that carries the fruit past mouth-drying tannin through a mineral finish that lasts for minutes. There's nothing effusive about the wine; it's all reserved. Probably at its best between ten and 20 years from the vintage.
About the Winery
First Classified Growth in 1855, ChÃ¢teau Haut-Brion has a singular history. The first authentic Bordeaux wine chateau is located on a terroir planted with vines from the Gallo-Roman era, in the 1st century. The first Bordeaux vintage, designated by the name of its terroir, and no longer by its owner or its parish, ChÃ¢teau Haut-Brion became in 1521 the first luxury brand in the world. Its history is one of the most prestigious wines that have marked the particular heritage of the Bordeaux region throughout the centuries.
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