2004 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1032622 96 points Wine & Spirits

 Open the bottle and you'll find harmony in the glass, but the wine remains subtle, stony and mute, as if the flavors lie behind a closed door. Over the course of several days, that door begins to open, the stoniness transforms into sleek fruit, as if to mirror the complexity of the multicolored pebbles that sustain Haut-Brion's vines, a range of flavors from red to purple to black. The structure grows increasingly substantial, while the harmony remains, lending the wine mysterious power. Twenty years from now, this will just begin to reach a plateau and should sustain itself long after.  (10/2007)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Of the pair of châteaux, La Mission Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion (both owned by the Dillon banking family) that face each other across the crowded streets of Pessac, Haut-Brion is the one with the structure, the darkness, the brooding character. This is so true of 2004, with its hugely firm structure underlying the initial supple fruit. At the end, the acidity is an enticing surprise, lifting the aftertaste.  (6/2007)

95 points Wine Spectator

 *Collectible* Wonderful aromas of dried flowers, currant, berries and mineral. Full-bodied, yet reserved and refined. Lovely texture, with a pure silk feel. Seamless and beautiful. Great length. Even better than from barrel.  (3/2007)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Medium to deep garnet colour. The nose is still a little mute giving a moderate intensity of youthful aromas: ripe plums, cassis, Chinese five spice, moss and a fair amount of cedar. Oak tannins seem to dominate the structure contributing to the taut astringency of the palate yet there is a good amount of ripe berry and earthy fruit plus medium acidity to balance. Long earthy finish. Drink 2012 to 2034. (LPB)  (5/2009)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep ruby-red. Reticent nose showed some dark cherry with aeration. Densely packed but youthfully closed, even a bit austere today, offering hints of black raspberry and minerals. This is fairly tannic wine (the IPT is 72) but there's nothing hard about it. My sample gained in sweetness and texture with aeration, although its fruit character remained tightly wound. Give this time in a carafe if you plan to try it anytime soon. 91+ (ST)  (6/2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Deep brick-tinged garnet. Gentle and complex aromas that are hard to describe discretely. Overall there's a slightly leafy note but there's a lovely warm, spicy sweetness, a little earthy and still a trace of red fruits. More austere on the palate than I expected. Refined and refreshing. The tannins quite dry at the very end. (JH)  (3/2014)

K&L Notes

Château Haut-Brion is one of the five First Growth wines of Bordeaux, and the only one from Graves. Located on two hillocks gravel over clay and sand in Pessac for a classic Graves terroir. It consists of 51 hectares of mostly red varietals (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot). It is the oldest wine estate in Bordeaux, and its wine was even served to Charles II! The estate is now owned and lovingly managed by the Dillon family—the royal family of Luxembourg.

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.