2013 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1266365 97 points Wine Enthusiast

 The production is tiny, yet the potential of this wine is enormous, with its tight, textured structure that is still so young. It is opulent and generous while still keeping a tight rein on its emotions. A steely core is surrounded by fruit that has hints of apricots as well as citrus. This will be a very fine wine but it needs many years, so wait until 2022. (RV)  (3/2016)

95 points James Suckling

 This is very, very long and intense with velvety tannins and plenty of sweet tobacco, cedar and dark berry aromas and flavors. Already open and delicious to drink. This is difficult to say it’s 2013. Fantastic for the vintage. Only 45% of the normal production.  (2/2016)

91-94 points Vinous

 Smoke, tobacco, incense and game meld into a core of black stone fruits as the 2013 Haut-Brion shows off its personality. Like most of the reds in this range, the 2013 really needs time in the glass to blossom. Violets, lavender and melted road tar develop over time in a striking, vivid wine endowed with class as well as considerable potential. Haut-Brion is one of the more overtly muscular, broad-shouldered wines of the year. It will be interesting to see what time in barrel brings, but there is a lot to look forward to. The 2013 is 50% Merlot, 45.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.5% Cabernet Franc.  (4/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Haut Brion has perhaps a little more complexity on the nose compared to the 2013 La Mission Haut-Brion at the moment. There is more depth and plenty of attractive fruit: cranberry, wild strawberry, hickory and a scintilla of scorched earth that becomes quite peaty with time. It is well defined and shows impressive focus. The palate is very well balanced with tensile tannin, a keen thread of acidity, lively in the mouth with more weight and presence than La Mission, though perhaps without quite the same precision at the moment. It still cuts away just a little short on the finish, but this is a decent Haut-Brion that may pull ahead of its "sibling" with bottle age. (NM)  (10/2016)

91 points Wine Spectator

 This has a lovely core of lightly steeped plum, blackberry and black currant fruit, which has already melded with tar and sweet tobacco notes to gain a rounded feel. Presents an ample spine for structure and length, with a hint of warm paving stone at the very end. Best from 2017 through 2025. (JM)  (3/2016)

K&L Notes

***½ 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 is the oldest wine estate in Bordeaux and 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

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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.