*2006 Chateau Haut-Brion
Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France 2006
Tasted at Bordeaux Index's annual 10-Year On tasting in London. The 2006 Château Haut-Brion has a more ostentatious bouquet than the comparatively reserved La Mission: quite feisty blackberry, briary, kirsch and red plum scents, hints of leather and sage tucked just underneath. This is a bouquet determined to make an impression! The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity, a gentle build to a concentrated, earthy, truffle-tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. This seems to have the upper-hand over the La Mission and probably has a longer future. A thoroughbred from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. (RP)
A severe, austere wine that doesn't show its richness easily. The tannins are tight and firm and they dominate. Underneath is ripe fruit, the balance with tannins giving a foursquare, solid character. The wine is complex, spice playing with the fruit, some medicinal flavors and a definite stalky, tight structure. It obviously needs long-term aging. (WE)
The property is situated just opposite that of Château La Mission Haut-Brion and shares the same gravelly and elevated terrain ideal for cultivating vines already referred to Haut-Brion on ancient maps and deeds. The nature of the gravel at Château Haut-Brion, consisting of small stones of various types of quartz, is a key element contributing to the particularly valuable wine-growing potential of the soil. The gravel soil lies on a single subsoil of clay, sand, limestone and falun (limestone shell) established at the end of the Tertiary era, then during the Quaternary era throughout the Ice Ages. From 20 centimetres to over 3 metres thick, the gravel deposits form slopes that enjoy excellent exposure, with natural drainage reinforced by a large hydrographic network of small water courses, as the Peugue or the Serpent, tributaries of the Garonne.