Chateau Haut-Brion (torn label) 2014

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 100
Wine Enthusiast
Full of ripe fruit, opulent and concentrated, this is a fabulous and impressive wine. It has a beautiful line of acidity balanced with ripe fruits. The wood aging is subtle, just a hint of smokiness and toast. This is one of those wines, from a great white wine vintage, that will age many years. Drink from 2024. Cellar Selection
JS 97
James Suckling
Beautifully perfumed with rose petals, violets and currant bush. Full body, very silky tannins and bright acidity. Tannins are super fine-grained. Goes on for minutes. Racy and refined. Persistent. Drink in 2025.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Loaded with warm tar, singed juniper, plum reduction and cassis notes that are perfectly melded, giving this a remarkably supple edge. The finish lets tobacco, bay leaf and incense accents glide in. Shows lovely mouthfeel and superior refinement overall. Best from 2020 through 2035.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Haut Brion is a blend of 50% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 11 September and 10 October, cropped at 42.9 hectoliters per hectare and raised in 70% new oak. As I observed when I made the comparison in barrel, the Haut Brion exudes more red fruit than La Mission Haut Brion, adorned with wild strawberry, bilberry, tobacco and again, just that hint of menthol in the background. The palate is very fresh and taut on the entry. The acidity is very nicely pitched and there is a touch of marmalade and blood orange that is tangible at the back of the mouth. There is real frisson to this Haut Brion, not quite as seductive and as smooth as its sibling over the road, but very persistent in the mouth. I noticed that over 15 to 20 minutes that the Haut Brion just gained more and more complexity, putting a small distance between itself and La Mission, as if determined to mock my opinion in barrel that La Mission would have the upper hand! Be my guest. Haut Brion has an inch, just an inch ahead of its "rival" sibling.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
The flagship 2014 Haut Brion is a beauty that packs more flavor, intensity, and depth than just about every other wine in the vintage. A blend of 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc that was harvest between the 11th of September and the 10th of October, it offers a classic bouquet of blackcurrants, wood smoke, lead pencil shavings, chocolate, and tobacco leaf. With full-bodied richness, a plump, layered texture, sweet tannin, and a great finish, it’s a gem in the vintage that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming two to three decades.
D 95
Decanter
From a blend of 50% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a full and deep expression of the vintage. The fruit leads with damson and plum, with black pepper spicing, lovely smoked grilled notes, touches of bramble, with a beautiful tannic hold and life on the finish. Deft and elegant, clearly successful, rich complexity and deceptive in terms of ageing because the tannins are fine but there are plenty of them, gently building up in your mouth over the course of the tasting. Such confident handling of the vintage, as you would expect, relatively high alcohol for the year at 14.25%abv, but barely discernible.
Barrel Sample: 95+
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Chateau Haut-Brion

Chateau Haut-Brion

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Chateau Haut-Brion, France
Chateau Haut-Brion Chateau Haut-Brion Winery Image

Chateau Haut-Brion is the oldest and by far the smallest of the "Premiers Grands Crus" vineyards of the Gironde 1855 classification. Chateau 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.Thanks to its long history as one of Bordeaux's most prestigious wines, the estate has left its mark on the region for centuries.

The vineyard covers an area of 51 hectares (about 126 acres). Slightly more than 48 hectares are planted with red grape varieties. The terrain at Haut-Brion, formed of two large mounds of a type of gravel known as Gunzian because it was deposited during the earliest geologic stage of the Pleistocene epoch, rises between 40 and 50 feet above the beds of the neighboring streams. This gravel consists of small stones, including various kinds of quartz, and it is these precious gems that help to give Chateau Haut-Brion's wines their distinctive character. This expansive elevated reach of gravelly terrain, bounded at the north by the Le Peugue stream and at the south by the Le Serpent stream, has been called Haut -Brion at least as far back as the early years of the fifteenth century, as evidenced by ancient maps and deeds dating from this period. The sub-soil consists of a mixture of clay and sand.

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Pessac-Leognan Wine

Bordeaux, France

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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 and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

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

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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 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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

CVY343404_2014 Item# 343404

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