5 things to know about Château Haut Brion

by Mélissa Dameron
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Château Haut Brion

Located in Pessac on the right bank of the Garonne, Château Haut Brion has a 52-hectare vineyard in the Pessac-Léognan appellation. The Château produces wines of exceptional quality.

Discover now 5 things to know about the famous Château Haut Brion.

1: Château Haut Brion is present in two rankings

Château Haut Brion

What makes Château Haut Brion unique is that it is the only Château to be present in two official classifications.

This Graves classified growth appears in the official classification of Médoc wines of 1855, as Premier Grand Cru and in the Graves classification of 1959 as a Grand Cru Classé of Pessac Léognan.

2: Château Haut Brion converted into a hospital during the war

The history of France has also marked that of Château Haut Brion. During the Second World War, in September 1939, the wine estate was reoriented. Haut Brion then became a War Hospital to accommodate wounded officers of the French Army. From then on, Clarence Dillon, American businessman and owner of the estate at that time, worked “unofficially” as a liaison between the American and British governments.

3: An atypical bottle shape for Bordeaux

Château Haut Brion

In general, the shape of the bottle gives an idea of ​​the region of origin of the wine. In Bordeaux, the shape of the bottle is quite straight, unlike in Burgundy, Rhône and Champagne where the bottles have more curves.

However, Haut Brion is one of the few Bordeaux châteaux to adopt a different bottle shape. This distinctive shape was first introduced to the estate in 1958 by Clarence Dillon.

4: Château Haut Brion produces a second wine

Among the 5 things to know about Château Haut Brion, did you know that the estate produces a second wine? This one is called Le Clarence de Haut Brion. Formerly “Château Bahans Haut-Brion” since 2007, this second wine is renamed Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, in tribute to Clarence Dillon, who bought the property in 1935.

5: Haut Brion has several great vintages

Thanks to its history and its know-how, Château Haut Brion is considered one of the most influential Châteaux in Bordeaux and in the world. An estate that continues to produce exceptional vintages.

The greatest vintages of Châteaux Haut Brion are: 1945, 1947, the 1959 vintage, 1961, the wines of 1982, 1989, 1990, 2003, 2005 or even the 2006 and 2009 vintages…

Our selection

Haut Brion 1990

Château Cheval Blanc 1990

Rated 98/100 Robert Parker Wine Advocate – wine tasting 2009

“In terms of the brilliant complexity and nobility of the aromatics, scorched earth, black currants, plums, charcoal, cedar, and spices, the 1990 offers an aromatic explosion that is unparalleled. It is always fascinating to taste this wine next to the 1989, which is a monumental effort, but much more backward and denser, without the aromatic complexity of the 1990. The 1990 put on weight after bottling, and is currently rich, full-bodied, opulent, even flamboyant by Haut Brion’s standards. It is an incredible expression of a noble terroir in a top vintage. While it has been fully mature for a number of years, it does not reveal any bricking at the edge, and I suspect it will stay at this level for another 10-15 years … but why wait?”

Haut Brion 2006

Château Cheval Blanc 2006

Rated 96/100 Robert Parker Wine Advocate – wine tasting january 2016

“The 2006 Château Haut-Brion has a more ostentatious bouquet than the comparatively reserved La Mission: quite feisty blackberry, briary, kirsch and red plum scents, hints of leather and sage tucked just underneath. This is a bouquet determined to make an impression! The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity, a gentle build to a concentrated, earthy, truffle-tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. This seems to have the upper-hand over the La Mission and probably has a longer future. A thoroughbred from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team.”

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