The 1988 vintage of this wine was ranked #7 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1991
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. Château 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 Château Haut-Brion.
"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 vintage’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."
The Wine Advocate
"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."
International Wine Cellar
"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."