Haut Brion 2010

Graves, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

As for the 2010 Haut-Brion, it does not have the power of Latour’s 2010 or the intense lead pencil shavings and chocolaty component of Lafite-Rothschild, but it is extraordinary, perfect wine. It has a slightly lower pH than the 2009 (3.7 versus the 2009's 3.8), and even higher alcohol than the 2009 (14.6%). The wine is ethereal. From its dense purple color to its incredibly subtle but striking aromatics that build incrementally, offering up a spectacular smorgasbord of aromas ranging from charcoal and camphor to black currant and blueberry liqueur and spring flowers, this wine’s finesse, elegant yet noble power and authority come through in a compelling fashion. It is full-bodied, but that’s only apparent in the aftertaste, as the wine seems to float across the palate with remarkable sweetness, harmony, and the integration of all its component parts – alcohol, tannin, acidity, wood, etc. This prodigious Haut-Brion is hard to compare to another vintage, at least right now, but it should have 50 to 75 years of aging potential

Score: 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2022-2065 01 March 2013

Following a harvest that finished on October 10, Haut-Brion produced a 2010 that should turn out to be one of its all-time greats ... an amazing feat given what they have accomplished over recent vintages. A blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc that came in at 14.6% alcohol, the 2010 boasts an opaque purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of scorched earth/burning embers, blueberries, black currant liqueur and crushed rocks. Full and opulent with nobility, finesse, purity and elegance, this amazing effort possesses extraordinary levels of extract as well as formidable, but sweet, well-integrated tannins. It requires 8-10 years of cellaring and should drink well for 50+ years.

Score: 98 - 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 04 May 2011

The first impression is that the aromatics upon the Haut-Brion almost cower compared directly against the ebullient, vivacious La Mission. It is probably an unfair comparison. Over time in the glass, it unfurls a little to reveal understated mineral-rich black fruit, tar and cigar box aromas. After 30 minutes and interchanging with an empty glass, it really opens up with hints of black olive and sea foam. The palate is very refined: a real class act. The tannins are fine but firm, initially a little austere and bashful but opening to reveal a sensual Haut Brion with just a touch of leafiness, allied with sublime freshness and delineation. It is keeping its secrets close to its chest at the moment, although the finish is very persistent and focused. It will require a decade cellaring.

Score: 96

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 01 March 2013

This is very spicy with dried mushroom aromas with dark fruits and plum undertones. Sweet tobacco as well. This is full-bodied, with lots of tannins that are chewy and firm. This is muscular for HB and flexing it. Try in 2020.

Score: 97

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com Maturity: 2020+ 04 February 2013

Deep ruby-purple. Brooding, closed nose hints at strawberry, ripe red cherry, white pepper, minerals and violet; showing its cabernet franc element today. Rich and full on entry, displaying lovely depth to its ripe red fruit, underbrush and tobacco flavors. Harmonious acidity keeps this concentrated, dense wine dancing on the palate. Finishes smooth and very long, and still youthfully tight. Another great Haut-Brion, atypically dominated by the cabernet franc presence. I'd venture to say that Haut-Brion is remarkably Lafleur-like this year. One of the stars of the vintage.

Score: 96 - 99

Ian D'Agata, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2011

23% Merlot, 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc. 7,800 cases, not 10,000+ as in 2009. 42% grand vin (compared with 57% in 2009). Full, opulent nose in which the classic Haut-Brion aroma is well masked by lots of slightly austere fruit. Very fine tannins - very drying finish. An extremely slow burner. Much drier than La Mission, and at the moment not desperately expressive. Its lips are pursed at the moment, and so are mine tasting it. Unusual to come across such a long-term wine even here. This may not make a massive impact en primeur because it is keeping so much in reserve. I think it will eventually make a great wine but it’s surly at the moment. 14.6% (18++ Points)

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2045 12 April 2011

Stunning aromas of beautifully concentrated red fruits, already expressive, even exuberant, a taffeta-like finesse hides great strength for the long term.

Score: 19 - 20

Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020-2045 01 April 2011

Sappy, dense and packed, with layers of kirsch, melted licorice snap, anise and black tea. Just as dense, if not more so, on the finish, with extra tar, violet and blackberry confiture. There's massive grip on the back end, but this is velvety and caressing. Easily the most backward of the first-growths at this stage. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 96 - 99

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 01 April 2011