2018 Château Haut-Brion Pessac Léognan 1st Classified Growth

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  • 100 Point 1st Classified Growth
  • 99 Point Vintage, Jeb Dunnuck
  • Drink Like a Founding Father
  • "Powerful but Elegant" Decanter
  • Free Shipping on 6 or More Bottles

About the Wine

Chateau Haut Brion is the pinnacle of Cabernet production and has been regarded as such for centuries. This wine has such a long history of excellence that America's Founding Fathers were regular fanatics of the estate with Thomas Jefferson even purchasing 24 cases to bring home. (an order that size is a testament in its own right) With the quality of wine overall going up, Chateau Haut Brion has done the same in its time since the founding of the US and has been on a streak of great vintages this side of 2000. 

On the topic of Vintages, 2018 is about as good as it gets with Jeb Dunnuck giving it 99 points at saying: "The 2018s are ripe, sexy wines loaded with fruit and texture, yet they also display a remarkable freshness and purity (as well as singular characters) that make the vintage so special. It’s not a year that favored one side of the river over another, and there are truly profound wines from both the Right and Left Banks." 

This is bottle is backed by a long history, it is a wine that will age gracefully for the better part of a century if you let it. There isn't a real need for truly extensive aging but it will certainly benefit from a couple of years of alone time in a cold dark place. 

Tasting Notes: Dark, intense red color. The initial impression on the nose is deep, spicy, and incredibly complex, undiscovered by ripe black fruit aromas. Starts out soft and well-structured on the palate, becoming full-bodied with impressive volume and smooth tannin. The finish is incredibly long, enhanced by rich flavors that are neither heavy nor harsh. Unquestionably a very fine Haut-Brion!


The 2018 Haut-Brion is composed of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, the wine needs a lot of swirling before it begins to release a whole complex melody of notes, one at a time to begin: tilled earth, followed by pronounced licorice, then crushed rocks, then the preserved plums. Eventually, it all comes together into a fascinating crescendo of intense crème de cassis, rose oil, wild blueberries, and kirsch notes, giving way to quiet, persistent leitmotif scents of cinnamon stick, truffles, and redcurrant jelly. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers all this and more, revealing tightly wound black fruit, red berry, and exotic spice layers within a solid, wonderfully plush frame and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length and loads of earth and mineral sparks. ~100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Aromas of currants, leaves, fresh mushrooms, oyster shell, tobacco, and dried flowers, following through to a full-body, yet ever so refined and polished and it grows on the palate. Lovely, energetic finish. Subtle and driven at the end of the palate. Drink in 2026 and onwards. ~99 James Suckling

A quintessential expression of this terroir, the 2018 Château Haut-Brion checks in as 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. Ripe and sexy, yet also offering subtle aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, smoked earth, tobacco leaf, truffle, lead pencil, and minerals, it takes its time opening up but reveals a full-bodied, concentrated, multi-layered style carrying gorgeous tannins, flawless balance, and just a wonderful symmetry and elegance paired with beautiful richness. This noble, gorgeous Haut-Brion will benefit from 7-8 years of bottle age and cruise for 40 years or so. ~98 Jeb Dunnuck

Waves of cassis, cherry puree, and blackberry paste roll through in this showstopper, with notes of tea, sandalwood, iron, and anise providing an entourage for the fruit. A subtle warm earth accent underscores the finish without intruding on the texture. A large-scaled yet eminently refined wine. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2025 through 2045. ~98 Wine Spectator

A beautiful Haut-Brion that combines generosity and elegance. It's rich, and velvety, with a vibrant ruby rim, all conveying structure and a sense of power. The flavor floods in through the mid-palate, displaying wonderfully vibrant blackberry, blueberry, slate, touches of blond tobacco, freshly cut herbs, and exotic spicing. You can feel in the texture that it's a warm year, not holding back. It's powerful but elegant and unforced at the same time, with some brambled edges that give a welcome sense of acidity and a touch of bitterness. ~98 Decanter

This wine has an immense structure that's powered by tannins, yet backed by a dry core and bright acidity. The black currant flavor is very fine and concentrated while also having a juicy freshness that marks the vintage. It has all the structure that should be expected from this estate. ~98 Wine Enthusiast

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