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Chateau Haut-Brion 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

The color is so dense that the wine seems almost black. The nose has an intensity of aromas that are mind-blowing. It can never disavow its origins as we find all the complexity that is so well known for characterizing Haut-Brion: its notes of smoke, of cigar and roasted coffee grains. The whiff of fresh fruit is also present: currants and cherries. From the first approach this wine startles one with its density. It is long in the mouth plus creamy, big, powerful and fresh. It takes a hold of you and penetrates your senses. Power and harmony are the distinctive traits of this vintage. The aromatic persistence is incredibly long. This perfectly balanced wine will without a doubt become one of the biggest successes of our Domaine.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 100
Wine Spectator
This is incredible on the nose, showing coffee cake, blackberry, floral, coffee bean and vanilla bean, with Chinese spices. A very complex, full-bodied red, with seamless, hyperpolished tannins that caress every millimeter of the palate. Lasts for minutes. So beautifully balanced, I'm left speechless. Is it even better than the 1989? Best after 2017.
RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The mineral-laced 2005 Haut Brion (56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc) is exquisite. With its elegance and finesse, it is not as powerful as La Mission, but the nobility and complexity of the aromatics, incredible fragrance (subtle smoke and blue, red, and black fruits) that persists in the glass, full-bodied mouthfeel (though very light and delicate on its feet), and incredible length characterize this great Haut-Brion. It is just starting to drink well, and should continue to do so for at least another three decades. It is a tour de force in winemaking, but only 9,000 cases were produced.
JS 99
James Suckling
This is very rich and layered for La Mission with ultra-polished tannins yet velvety and beautiful in texture. It's fully-bodied and full of character that shows plums, berries, wet earth and oyster shell flavors that are so unique to reds from this estate. Superb quality. Better to drink this in 2020 but try now to feel the greatness.
WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
A big, virile wine, dominated by dark and firm tannins. The structure comes from powerful black fruits, the wood only showing as dry edge to the tannins. It’s firm, obviously destined for long aging, with initial blackberry fruits powering through the density. A stupendous wine that will last many decades.
W&S 98
Wine & Spirits
All mineral at first, this wine feels cloistered in a stone cellar, its profound depths of red fruit more an impression than an immediate sensual connection. That direct connection forms over the course of several days, as the brilliant energy of the wine grows increasingly apparent. It has the controlled power of a tho­roughbred, naked and beautiful. The choice between Haut-Brion and La Mission is difficult in this vintage; anyone investing in one should invest in the other. This may prove the grander of the two, but that will likely be a point of debate for 50 years or more.
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Chateau Haut-Brion

Chateau Haut-Brion

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Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
2005
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.

Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Camenere

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky black and blue fruits, mushroom, forest, tobacco and iodine. Textures will be smooth and intriguing.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

NDE96201_2005 Item# 96201

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