Wine Enthusiast 98 points:
“The palate opens slowly, offering an initial citrus character, followed by wood and then, finally, wonderfully rich, but taut fruit. There is still a toast character here, with apricots and pear on top of the citrus, but it is still only just developing. In 10–15 years, it will be a magnificent wine.” — Roger Voss
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.