Chateau La Tour Haut Brion Pessac-Leognan (Graves) 1999
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
"The 1999 has put on weight since I tasted it last year. It is a sexy, open-knit, deep ruby-colored effort, exhibiting a smoky nose of melted asphalt, truffles, cassis, and tobacco, enticing sweetness on the attack, low acidity, and a smoky, ripe rich finish. Along with the 2000, 1999 is one of the two finest La Tour-Haut Brions produced under the new owners, who acquired the estate in 1983. Drink this captivating, complex Graves over the next 10-15 years."
Château La Tour-Haut-Brion is made in a precise, clean, crafted winemaking style. Its supple, medium-bodied, slightly herbaceous wines are drinkable at a relatively early age despite their high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. They have the characteristic nose of coffee, tobacco, occasionally grilled herbs, and black and red currants. Moderate tannins and good underlying acidity give the wine fine definition for at least 5-15 years following most vintages.
Chateau La Tour Haut-Brion Winery
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 regions
When 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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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.