- Nick's Import
2018 Chateau Haut-Brion
Long before the 1855 classification of Bordeaux, Chateau Haut-Brion were renowned for their quality and style. When Thomas Jefferson visited the region in 1787 he noted the quality of wines in the area, creating his own hierarchy that listed Chateau Haut-Brion along with Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, and Chateau Lafite and the finest wines of Bordeaux. This same elite group were later given First Growth status, and Haut-Brion remains the only estate outside of the Medoc to claim this honour.
Located near the city of Bordeaux, the 48 hectare Chateau Haut-Brion vineyard is planted to 48% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot for the reds, while the whites are a mix of 51% Semillon and 49% Sauvignon Blanc.
The 2018 Haut-Brion is a blend of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 6 to October 2. Deep purple-black in color, it is much more closed than the La Mission. It holds back for the first few minutes, reticent to reveal what slowly uncoils to give wave after wave of exotic spices—cardamom, cassis, star anise and fenugreek—over an opulent core of red roses, Black Forest cake, warm cassis and black raspberries with nuances of cigar box, crushed rocks, truffles, tilled black soil, iron ore and smoked meats. The full-bodied palate is truly profound, with restrained black fruit and spice layers slowly offering mineral sparks and savory suggestions within a rock-solid frame of firm, super fine-grained tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. This will take longer to come around than the La Mission, but it will be well worth the wait.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate
The length and texture to this wine is so very impressive. It’s not so much the sheer power that is impressive here, rather the form, tension and exquisite form that the abundant, fine-grained tannins provide. It lasts for minutes on the palate. A classic beauty in the making.
The 2018 Haut-Brion is a regal wine. Creamy, soft and inviting, the 2018 is one of the more open-knit young Haut-Brions I can remember tasting. Cedar, tobacco, smoke, licorice, grilled herbs, leather and menthol are nicely layered in the glass. In 2018, Haut-Brion is almost shockingly elegant at this very early stage. There is plenty of tannin, but it is totally woven into the wine's fabric. In 2018, the blend is 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
The grand vin 2018 Haut-Brion (49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc) is as deeply colored as its stablemate but has a darker, smoky bouquet of blackcurrants, roasted herbs, tobacco, and gravelly earth. Silky, polished, and ethereally textured on the palate, with beautiful tannins as well as mid-palate density, it's one of the most regal, classic wines in the vintage.