1966 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan

SKU #951155 92 points John Gilman

 This was paired up with the ’66 La Mission Haut Brion, and it was the slightly less impressive bottle of the two for the first hours it was in the glass. However, it continued to grow and gain depth as the evening wore on, and it was clearly the superior of the two wines by the time it had fully unfolded. The nose is classic HB, offering up notes of roasted cassis, plums, cigar ash, black truffles, Graves earth, and a vague topnote redolent of violets. On the palate the wine is ultimately medium-full (having put on weight as it opened up), with excellent focus and balance, and fine length and grip on the polished and complex finish. I used to think that the ’66 was a bit more of the red fruity and brick dust-like side of Haut Brion, but the last several bottles that I have tasted have moved decisively over to the black fruity side of the ledger. (Drink between 2003-2020)  (6/2007)

92 points Wine Spectator

 On the austere side, but balanced and harmonious, finishing with surprising length. Sweet caramel and berry overtones ring on the finish. (HS)  (4/1997)

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Price: $1,099.99

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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.