2005 La Tour Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1123468 93 points Wine Spectator

 Shows interesting aromas of chocolate, meat and berry, with hints of fresh cèpe. Turns floral and aromatic. Full-bodied, with soft, velvety tannins and a medium finish. Very balanced and pretty. Elegant and seductive. This is the last year of LTHB. (JS)  (3/2008)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Plum, black raspberry and cedary oak on the nose. Pure but a bit tightly wound, with lovely texture and uncompromising dryness to the dark raspberry and tobacco flavors. With aeration, this gained in depth and breadth and showed lovely sweetness, but there's very firm acidity here for the vintage. Built to age. Should make an excellent last vintage for this bottling. (ST) 90+  (6/2008)

Wine & Spirits

 The rich scent of new oak gives a French roast coffee flavor to this wine's tarry tannins. The fruit falls in a lighter, redder zone, like persimmon, while it still has the primary, purple grape-skin character of youth. A tense, earthy young wine, this should evolve well.  (10/2008)

Wine Enthusiast

 This wine is something of a collector’s item, since this is the last vintage it was made before integration of the vineyard into La Mission Haut-Brion. It’s a lively, ripe, cassis-flavored wine, with soft, rounded tannins and fresh acidity.  (6/2008)

K&L Notes

94-95 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "The final vintage for La Tour Haut-Brion, but what a way to go! Limpid purple opaque hue. The nose is very tight and sulky, but there is masses of fruit concentration: blackberry, raspberry and well-integrated vanillary oak. Just a hint of dark chocolate developing in the glass. Again, very good balance; firm quite solid tannins, very good delineation and freshness. One of the most backward, broody La Tour Haut-Brion's that I have tasted. Certainly a wine with the structure and weight to suggest long-term cellaring with a tannic finish and a dash of black pepper just to give it a kick. Fabulous: a wine for those who like more cerebral, challenging wines. Tasted April 2006."

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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.


- 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.


Specific Appellation:


- 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.