2005 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1046806 100 points James Suckling

 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.  (4/2011)

100 points 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)  (6/2015)

100 points Vinous

 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)  (11/2015)

100 points Wine Spectator

 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?  (3/2008)

98 points 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.  (10/2008)

98 points Wine Enthusiast

 *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.  (6/2008)

97 points 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)  (6/2008)

Jancis Robinson

 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)  (1/2015)

K&L Notes

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)

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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.