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.
"Dense and dark. Rich and sumptuous. Some spiciness. Very broad and rich. Very grand. And easy to see where it comes from and how it will proceed. Very pure. Zesty but with grandeur and great persistence." Jancis Robinson
Delicious with Beef Wellington
Wine Advocate - 98
The 2012 Haut Brion (65% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc) is certainly one of the candidates for the wine of the vintage, with a dense purple color, classic nose of crushed rock, lead pencil shavings, black raspberry, blueberry and flowers. The wine shows subtle barbecue smoke notes in the background, but is full-bodied, stunningly concentrated and builds incrementally, yet finishes with luxurious, almost extravagant amounts of fruit and intensity. From only 46% of the production, this is an absolutely remarkable effort from the Dillon family and their winemaking team of the two Jean-Philippes. Drink it over the next 30-40 years. – Robert Parker, RobertParker.com, Mar 2015