The only one of the five first growths outside of the Médoc, Château Haut-Brion lies in the Pessac-Léognan region slightly further south, and is surrounded by the suburbs of Pessac. The urban, rather than rural location is somewhat rare for a property of this status (though research shows this results in higher temperatures, which aid vine growth) and accounts for its smaller size, though there are still 51 hectares under vine. Haut-Brion is one of the oldest wine estates in Bordeaux, and probably the first to make wine under its own name, with winemaking underway around 100 years before its first growth peers. It has really only been owned by four major families, each of which made its own impact and contributed to the property’s high repute.
"The unbelievably superb 2011 Haut-Brion (a tiny production of 7,600 cases) exhibits a classic nose of subtle smoldering embers, warm rocks, black currants, new saddle leather, spice box and high quality, unsmoked cigar tobacco. The color is a dense ruby/purple to the edge, and the wine cuts a serious as well as broad swath across the palate. The most amazing aspect of this terroir is that the wine, despite all its power and richness, literally dances on the palate, as if it were a 90 pound ballerina." Wine Advocate #212 Apr 2014
Delicious with Beef Wellington
Wine Spectator 97
This has terrific depth and cut, offering a core of dried pineapple, Jonagold apple and white peach fruit, along with quinine and gooseberry notes, all lined with a bracing jicama edge. The finish is backed by salted butter, brioche and shortbread details. Shows power and purity, with terrific length. Approachable now, but give this time. Best from 2017 through 2030. – James Molesworth (WineSpectator.com, March 2014)