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Chateau Haut-Brion (Futures Pre-Sale) 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • WE98
  • V97
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • WS95
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

WE 98
Wine Enthusiast

A beautifully ripe wine that's very dense in its character. The wine is generous and rich, while also structured. It already has delicious black plum fruit and velvet tannins. A wonderful, opulent wine that’s packed with full-throated Merlot.
Barrel Sample: 96-98 Points

V 97
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

A big, powerful wine, the 2012 Haut-Brion possesses stunning richness and intensity, with all of the depth that is lacking in so many other wines in this vintage. Not here. The 2012 possesses remarkable depth and tons of raw, animal power that is going to require considerable time in bottle to soften. Readers should be in no rush; the 2012 Haut-Brion is a wine for the ages. Smoke, graphite, dried herbs and blue/purplish stone fruits grace the exotic, alluring finish.

JS 96
James Suckling

This is fabulous for the vintage with a super long finish of ultra-fine tannins. Full and racy with a wonderful texture. This is the most Merlot ever in Haut-Brion. Rich too. One of the wines of the vintage. 65.5% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Barrel Sample: 95-96 Points

RP 95
The Wine Advocate

The 2012 Haut-Brion, which represents only 46% of the production, is a blend of 65% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. One of the stars of the vintage, it is a complete, medium to full-bodied, soft, round, atypically accessible effort displaying lots of minerality along with red and black fruits, exceptional fragrance and purity, a fleshy mid-palate and a long finish. A remarkable fact in both these wines is that the alcohol levels in 2012 hit 14.8%, which nearly equals the record levels achieved in 2010 – that’s astonishing! This 2012 should drink well 3-4 years after bottling, and last for 20-25 years.
Barrel Sample: 93-95 Points

WS 95
Wine Spectator

Plush for the vintage, with a lovely, caressing feel and lots of steeped plum, anise and blackberry fruit. Displays a This combines power and refinement, with a singed alder frame around a dense core of red and black currant, plum and blackberry fruit. Notes of bay, black tea and tar line the finish. Has a lovely, fine-grained feel that lets the dark, hefty fruit drape beautifully. The tobacco element hangs in the background. Sneakily long. Best from 2018 through 2030.

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Chateau Haut-Brion

Chateau Haut-Brion

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Chateau Haut-Brion, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Haut-Brion
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.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history...

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One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simply to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese. These tend to be big, bold, and modern in style, often with noticeable new oak, and sold at super-premium prices.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture...

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

BFFHUATBR_2012 Item# 124521

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