2005 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
This is a wine that makes you dream. The nose is packed with flowers, sweet tobacco, iodine, spices, raspberries, blackberries, and great freshness. The texture is perfection, pure silk and the fruit is wonderfully complex and subtle. Currants, fresh mushrooms, flowers, and stones fill the mouth and make way to a delightful finish. Please leave this alone until 2020.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The mineral-laced 2005 Haut Brion (56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc) is exquisite. With its elegance and finesse, it is not as powerful as La Mission, but the nobility and complexity of the aromatics, incredible fragrance (subtle smoke and blue, red, and black fruits) that persists in the glass, full-bodied mouthfeel (though very light and delicate on its feet), and incredible length characterize this great Haut-Brion. It is just starting to drink well, and should continue to do so for at least another three decades. It is a tour de force in winemaking, but only 9,000 cases were produced. (RP)
One of my wines of the night, the 2005 Haut-Brion is stratospheric. Remarkably vivid and nuanced, the 2005 presents a compelling mélange of dark flavors laced with the savory/mineral notes that are so typical of Haut-Brion. The 2005 is a thrill to follow in the glass, as it continually reveals new shades of its personality, something I consider a common attribute among all of the world's truly great wines. The dense, explosive finish points to a very bright future. Readers who own the 2005 should be thrilled, as it is truly magnificent. (AG)
This is incredible on the nose, showing coffee cake, blackberry, floral, coffee bean and vanilla bean, with Chinese spices. A very complex, full-bodied red, with seamless, hyperpolished tannins that caress every millimeter of the palate. Lasts for minutes. So beautifully balanced, I'm left speechless. Is it even better than the 1989?
Wine & Spirits
All mineral at first, this wine feels cloistered in a stone cellar, its profound depths of red fruit more an impression than an immediate sensual connection. That direct connection forms over the course of several days, as the brilliant energy of the wine grows increasingly apparent. It has the controlled power of a thoroughbred, naked and beautiful. The choice between Haut-Brion and La Mission is difficult in this vintage; anyone investing in one should invest in the other. This may prove the grander of the two, but that will likely be a point of debate for 50 years or more.
*Cellar Selection* A big, virile wine, dominated by dark and firm tannins. The structure comes from powerful black fruits, the wood only showing as dry edge to the tannins. It’s firm, obviously destined for long aging, with initial blackberry fruits powering through the density. A stupendous wine that will last many decades.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Wonderfully expressive nose combines black raspberry, mocha, hot stones, caramel and tobacco. Lush, fat and full but with terrific definition and suavity to its extravagantly dense black raspberry, stone and licorice flavors. As large-scaled as this is, it's not at all overly sweet. Expands impressively on the back half, finishing with substantial tannins that are thoroughly covered by fruit. A great vintage for Haut-Brion. (ST)
From an exceedingly handsome magnum. Very healthy-looking shaded dark ruby. Looks sumptuous. Broad, ripe, flattering warm-bricks Haut-Brion nose. Very heady and gorgeous indeed. Neat and contained but so layered and lovely! The tannins are well in retreat even in this magnum (although they make their presence felt on the very end) but the wine seems sufficiently well built that it will last decades. Very seductive and true to its origins. I hope that most experienced drinkers would be able to identify this blind – a great compliment to it. Not heavy but very dense. (19/20 points)
98+ points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "The Château Haut-Brion 2005, which unlike the rest of the First Growth was tasted from magnum, has a more audacious and sensual bouquet compared to the La Mission Haut-Brion with copious black cherries, cooked meat, mint and wild heather scents. You could sit and nose this all day. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins. The harmony will leave you breathless. It is underpinned by nigh perfect acidity and astounding weight. Yet it does not overwhelm and remains faithfully classic in style. It is difficult to fault this Haut Brion and do not be surprised if it one day ends up joining the ranks of the 1961, 1989 or 2000." (02/2015)