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1982 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #950034 98 points Decanter

Outer quote mark A rich, dense cushioning of fruit, set against a cedar and toasted spice backdrop, makes the nose full of integrity and promise. Rich blackberry with soft menthol on the finish, this is again absurdly young and tight for a wine that is in its fourth decade and another few decades ahead seems almost a certainty. Clear florality also, with a redcurrant and grilled herbs fragrance that catches prettily at the back of the throat. Totally beautiful, even with the sweet iodine tang that just begins to betray its age. Supremely drinkable. (JA) Inner quote mark

98 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This is a phenomenal 1982 and it remains the most drinkable of the first growths. A strong iodine character here enveloped by delicious currants, shaved chocolate and spices. Full body with super-integrated tannins and a refined texture. Wonderful balance. Inner quote mark (6/2016)

97 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark In its early years the ’82 Haut Brion was really the odd man out amongst the First Growths, as the wine seemed a tad silky and easy-going in comparison to the larger than life profiles of the ‘82s from the likes of Mouton, Lafite and Margaux. However, as can so often be the case with Haut Brion, the wine has put on weight with bottle age, and at age twenty-five this really does look to be a clone of the legendary 1959. The bouquet is deep and roasted, as it soars from the glass in a blaze of dark plums, roasted cassis, grilled walnuts, cigar smoke, herb tones and a serious base of Graves soil. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and very powerful, with a palate profile that is a dead-ringer for a younger version of the 1959, with layers of fruit, strong soil signature, moderate tannins, and great length and grip on the palate-staining finish. As is the case with the beautiful 1990 and 1985 HBs, I would strongly advise keeping the paws off of the 1982 Haut Brion for several more years, for as good of a drink as it is today, it will continue to improve with further bottle age. Beautiful wine. Inner quote mark (6/2007)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Good medium amber-edge red. Flamboyant aromas of smoked meat, leather, truffle and burnished oak. Intensely flavored and penetrating, with strong acids giving the flavors terrific cut and grip. I get an impression of strong Cabernet tannins. Drink now through 2020. 94. My second bottle showed even more extravagantly expressive aromas of hot stones, tobacco, minerals and marzipan; a denser, silkier palate impression, with more obvious roasted Graves character; and an uncanny combination of sheer sweetness with structure and grip. I rated this wine even higher. (ST) Inner quote mark (8/2002)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Though having tasted the Haut-Brion 1982 on numerous occasions, it is still a divine Pessac-Léognan to cherish. Here at The Glasshouse restaurant, it has that lovely warm gravel on a summer's day bouquet, brown autumn leaves, bay leaf and here a slightly more conspicuous note of black olive than I have noticed in the past. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, again a little more diffuse than its fellow 1982 First Growths, but with just as much charm. If anything, it feels a little tighter and more backward than previous examples, perhaps suggesting that bottles of excellent provenance will last many years. It is a wonderful 1982 First Growth, not a pinnacle of the vintage, but disarmingly and utterly charming. (NM) Inner quote mark (7/2016)

95 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Dark ruby red. Tobacco, roasted coffee and light raisin. Full-bodied, with soft and silky tannins and a long finish. I have always loved this wine. (JS) Inner quote mark (6/2001)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Much deeper ruby. Edgy and with noticeably more tannin left than the Haut-Brion 1982 tasted alongside. Thick and sweet. Initially a bit austere and tough but it developed in the glass to something gorgeous and possibly with a longer life than the Haut-Brion. Inky and fresh with quite a dry, but not drying, finish. 19/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (10/2018)

K&L Notes

Château Haut-Brion is one of the five First Growth wines of Bordeaux, and the only one from Graves. Located on two hillocks of classic Graves terroir (gravel over clay and sand in Pessac), it's the oldest wine estate in Bordeaux, and their wine was even served to Charles II! The estate is now owned and lovingly managed by the Dillon family, the royal family of Luxembourg. 95 points Robert Parker in Wine Advocate: "I know Jean Delmas, whom I respect as one of the world’s greatest wine producers, has always thought the 1982 Haut Brion was similar to the 1959, but I have yet to see that. It seems to me the 1989 is closer to the 1959, another perfect wine and one of the all-time great Haut Brions. While the 1982 is a beauty, it has never hit the highest notes this vintage or terroir can achieve. Complex aromatics of scorched earth, smoked herbs, and sweet red and black currants are followed by a full-bodied, silky-textured wine, but I have never felt this offering has possessed the concentration, texture, or multidimensional personality found in such vintages as 1989, 1990, and more recent years. Nevertheless, this is essentially splitting hairs as the 1982 remains a superb Haut Brion. Seemingly less evolved than the 1990, it is capable of another 20-30 years of longevity. Perhaps there is something in reserve that will reveal itself in the next decade." (6/2009)


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