Chateau Haut-Brion 1994
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
This wine is characterized by the harmony between the very soft and very fine structure and the complex aroma given by the soil of the Graves. The wine has great charm. It will be possible to drink it in the next few years but it really should be kept. It will age remarkably.
Wine Spectator - "Has wonderful richness and suppleness, lovely fruit and harmony. A superb example of a graceful, balanced wine that is delicious now and can evolve over many years."
The Wine Advocate - "One of my favorite and most educational visits in Bordeaux is the time I spend with Haut-Brion's highly respected administrator, Jean Delmas. Delmas is the thinking man's winemaker, with a level of experience and success that is unequaled in Bordeaux. On this visit, we discussed at length the strong tendency in Bordeaux to produce wines with higher and higher percentages of Merlot. As Jean Delmas says, (1), Merlot provides grapes that can be picked earlier, and tend to ripen with higher degrees of sugar, thus producing wines with higher alcohol. (2) Merlot has less acidity, which, combined with its tendency to produce high alcohol, results in a sweeter, supple, and initially more seductive wine. (3) Winemakers can extract more from Merlot than they can from Cabernet Sauvignon, thus they can vinify Merlot at higher temperatures, ultimately producing exotic, opulent wines that are thrilling to taste young. However, as Delmas pointed out, it is the Cabernet Sauvignon that provides the structure, backbone, and, to his palate, ultimately the greatest measure of complexity, character, and Bordeaux typicity. Jean Delmas enjoys a sumptuous Merlot-based wine as much as any Bordeaux wine lover I know, but he is concerned by the replacement of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards with Merlot. In short, he worries that much of the intrinsic character of many Medoc and Graves chateaux could be muted or lost in a succession of exotic, flashy, glitzy wines that are garish Medoc imitations of Pomerols and St.-Emilions - something to think about. In contrast to the 1993's penetrating, upfront aromas, the 1994 is closed aromatically. With coaxing, some truffle-like, sweet, black fruit aromas, as well as those of mineral/stones come forward. This spicy, full-bodied, powerful wine is a more masculine, structured effort than the 1993, with a potentially more complex, richer character. It is superbly crafted, beautifully balanced, and as pure as a wine can be. The integration of new oak, acidity, and tannin is commendable. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2025."
Chateau Haut-Brion Winery
Château Haut-Brion is the oldest and by far the smallest of the "Premiers Grands Crus" vineyards of the Gironde 1855 classification. Château Haut-Brion is one of the few remaining family-owned domains of the Bordeaux region with a history going back to the 16th century. It has been owned by the American Dillon family since 1935. View all Chateau Haut-Brion Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.