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2022 Château Haut-Brion En Primeur

Released this morning for sale en primeur is 2022 Châteaux Haut-Brion, offered on allocation at £3090 per six bottles in bond.


Landing in spring 2025.

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Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

Producer Profile

Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

Château Haut-Brion is a Premier Grand Cru Classé de Graves estate in the communes of Pessac-Léognan.   The name derives from the Celtic word 'Briga', or mound (hence 'high' or 'raised mound').   There is evidence of a vineyard here since the 1st century AD, but records from 1521 onwards show the winery producing a vintage each year, making this the oldest continuously working winery in Bordeaux.  In 1525 Jean de Pontac became the owner of the estate in 1549 he began construction of the château which still stands today.  The terms 'cru' and 'Aubrion' began to appear regularly in records at this time. 

On April 10th 1663, Pepys wrote his famous 'review' of the wine in his diary, having tasted it at The Royal Oak Tavern, in Lombard Street in the City of London: “There I drank a sort of French wine called Ho-Bryan that hath a good and most particular taste I never met with.”  A few years later and just after the Great Fire of London in 1666, Arnaud de Pontac sent a retainer to London to open The Pontac's Head, also in Lombard Street, selling mosty Haut-Brion wines but also other clarets from the Pontac family.  For some years 'Haut-Brion' and 'Pontack' became interchangeable names.  Pontack's itself continued into the 1780s.

Haut-Brion introduced two innovations that influenced winemaking across Bordeaux; ageing in barrel and topping up of wines in barrel.  The first process adds wood tannins and allows for carefully controlled oxidative ageing, which gives long ageing potential.  The latter is essential to preserve the wines in the barrel whilst this occurs.   

Haut-Brion had various owners in the nineteenth century including the famous foreign minister Talleyrand.  In 1935 it was purchased by the American financier, Clarence Dillon.  His daughter Joan Dillon married Prince Charles of Luxembourg.  After Charles died in 1978, Princess Joan married a French aristocrat, the Duke de Mouchy.  Princess Joan and the Duke de Mouchy ran the estate until 2008, when Joan's son Prince Robert of Luxembourg took over.

Haut-Brion is very close to the city of Bordeaux.  The 50 ha of vineyards are planted on deep gravel soils with deposits of clay, to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.  The second wine was previously named Bahans de Haut-Brion and was a non-vintage wine, blending the product of more than one vintage as required.  In 2007 it was renamed Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, on the 75th anniversary of the purchase by the Dillon family.  Haut-Brion and neighbouring La Mission Haut-Brion (also owned by the family) are managed by Jean-Philippe Delmas, the second generation in his family in this role.

RED 2022 Château Haut Brion 75cl £3,090 per case of 6 Château Haut Brion
2022 / / 75cl
£3,090 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"Stately, inky colour, this is impressively vivid and energetic despite the intensity of the construction. Fresh fig character, black chocoate, cinnammon, turmeric, creamy bilberry and blackberry fruits, with clove and sandalwood spice, and a slow build of texture and contrast from the slate tannins as they draw out the flavours. Harvest August 29-19 September. 3.9ph. Less Cabernet Sauvignon than usual due to tiny yields, 96 points""The 2022 Haut-Brion shows considerable promise, revealing aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with notions of pencil lead, licorice, tobacco leaf, spices and incense. Full-bodied, broad and seamless, it's rich and muscular, with a deep, layered core of fruit framed by an ample endowment of tannin. This blend of 53.6% Merlot, 35.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc, the result is a lip-smacking exemplification of controlled power. Analytically, the 2022 possesses a similar level of tannins to the 2010, and a similar pH to the 2009, yet it is more suave and polished than the 2010 at the same stage, and seemingly more dynamic than the 2009. 95-97 points" Yohan Castaing,"Slightly better than its sibling La Mission Haut-Brion, the 2022 Château Haut-Brion has a full-bodied, concentrated, structured style that's going to demand bottle age. Cassis, graphite, scorched earth, and tobacco are just some of its nuances aromatically, and it shows the ripe, powerful style of the vintage. There are lots of tannins here, especially on the finish, and it's going to need 7-8 years in the cellar. 96-98 points""The 2022 Haut-Brion, matured in 70% new oak, represents the 99th vintage under three generations of the Delmas family (see my recently published book for a remarkable photo of the first). It has slightly darker fruit than the La Mission at the moment. Incense and potpourri infuse the black plum and bilberry. There's a touch of brine in the background. It manifests more and more complexity as it opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied and is blessed with unerring symmetry. It has a bewitching granular texture, complex and more focused than recent vintages, and comes across as almost pixelated on the finish. Quintessential Haut-Brion. Magnificent, but not necessarily the best wine that Delmas oversaw in this vintage. 2030-2065. 96-98 points" Neal Martin,"The 2022 Haut-Brion comes across as a bit restrained, given the natural opulence of the year and the other wines in the Clarence Dillon portfolio. Deep and wonderfully layered, the 2022 possesses remarkable depth but also a bit less of the explosive energy that is such a Haut-Brion signature. I suspect that will come in time, as the 2022 starts to show quite a bit better with a little aeration. Violet, gravel, incense, leather, tobacco and scorched earth linger. Superb. 97-99 points" Antonio Galloni,"Currants and cedar with sandalwood and peaches. Fascinating aromas. Violets. Full-bodied with a crunchy and electric palate of primary fruit, with hints of tangerines and citrus. Great finish with structure and polish. 53.6% merlot, 35.4% cabernet sauvignon and 11% cabernet franc. Interesting to have such high merlot in the blend. 98-99 points"
RED 2022 Château Haut Brion - Le Clarence de Haut Brion 75cl £792 per case of 6 Château Haut Brion
Le Clarence de Haut Brion
2022 / / 75cl
£792 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"The 2022 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has a slightly higher-toned bouquet than the La Chapelle with blueberry, blackberry, iris petal and strawberry pastille aromas. Playful. The palate is medium-bodied with a saline entry and fine-boned tannins. The 2022 is poised and focused with a sophisticated finish. Superb. 2027-2047. 91-93 points" Neal Martin,"The 2022 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, the second wine of Château Haut-Brion, is elaborated from a blend of 61.2% Merlot, 21.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Cabernet Franc and 1.5% Petit Verdot. It reveals a bright, fruity bouquet with aromas of dark berries, plums, tobacco, graphite and spices. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, textural and fleshy with structuring tannins and a fresh, tense finish. It is a very nice way to introduce the great wine of Haut-Brion. 91-93+ points" Yohan Castaing,"The 2022 Le Clarence De Haut-Brion is mostly Merlot but includes 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, and a little less than 2% Petit Verdot. It's a darker fruited, more structured second wine offering medium to full-bodied richness, a ripe, layered, textured profile, beautiful tannins, and classic notes of darker currants, cherries, smoked tobacco, and scorched earth. It's clearly an outstanding wine and has more than a hint of classic Haut-Brion style. 92-94 points""The 2022 Le Clarence de Haut-Brian is fabulous. Rich, deep and explosive, La Clarence is everything a second wine should be. In other words, a smaller-scaled version of the original. Sumptuous dark fruit makes a strong opening statement. Complicated notes of gravel, dried herbs, crushed rose petals and blood orange lend gorgeous savory nuance. Impressive 92-94 points" Antonio Galloni,"A medium- to full-bodied red with fine and lightly chewy tannins. Lots of dark chocolate, crushed stone and graphite flavors at the end. Subtle. 62.1% merlot, 21.9% cabernet sauvignon, 14.5% cabernet franc and 1.5% petit verdot. 94-95 points"

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