2012 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
A beautifully ripe wine that's very dense in its character. The wine is generous and rich, while also structured. It already has delicious black plum fruit and velvet tannins. A wonderful, opulent wine that's packed with full-throated Merlot.
This is fabulous for the vintage with a super long finish of ultra-fine tannins. Full and racy with a wonderful texture. This is the most Merlot ever in Haut-Brion. Rich too. One of the wines of the vintage. 65.5% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Haut-Brion, which represents only 46% of the production, is a blend of 65% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. One of the stars of the vintage, it is a complete, medium to full-bodied, soft, round, atypically accessible effort displaying lots of minerality along with red and black fruits, exceptional fragrance and purity, a fleshy mid-palate and a long finish. A remarkable fact in both these wines is that the alcohol levels in 2012 hit 14.8%, which nearly equals the record levels achieved in 2010 – that's astonishing! This 2012 should drink well 3-4 years after bottling, and last for 20-25 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Compelling perfume of dark berries, red cherry, licorice, violet and bitter chocolate. Highly concentrated and penetrating, with superb sappiness to the rich flavors of raspberry, brown spices, cocoa powder and smoky black pepper. This big, rich wine displays outstanding spine and grip on the very long finish. Given the vintage's characteristics, greatly increasing the percentage of merlot was the right thing to do in 2012. 'It's a return to the Haut-Brion wines of the late '90s,' said Haut-Brion's owner, Prince Robert of Luxembourg, 'when perhaps we were getting a little carried away with merlot in our blend. But in 2012, we had no choice.' Haut-Brion is clearly the best of the Left Bank first growths in 2012. In fact, only Léoville-Las Cases can match it for sheer breed and class, but Haut-Brion is the more opulent of the two wines.
This combines power and refinement, with a singed alder frame around a dense core of red and black currant, plum and blackberry fruit. Notes of bay, black tea and tar line the finish. Has a lovely, fine-grained feel that lets the dark, hefty fruit drape beautifully. The tobacco element hangs in the background. Sneakily long. Best from 2018 through 2030.
65.5% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. Dense and dark. Rich and sumptuous. Some spiciness. Very broad and rich. Very grand. And easy to see where it comes from and how it will proceed. Very pure. Much more forward than La Mission. Zesty but with grandeur and great persistence. Drink 2022-2045. 18.5/20 points.
Chateau Haut Brion is one of the 5 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 was even served to Charles II! The estate is now owned and lovingly managed by the Dillon family - the royal family of Luxembourg.