Haut Brion 2006

Pessac-Leognan, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

The 2006 Haut-Brion performed even better from bottle than it did from barrel. Sixty-four percent of the production went into this wine, and while it displays the vintage’s powerful tannins and structure, it possesses superb concentration, and the minerality/scorched earth notes of a great Haut-Brion. Medium to full-bodied, with perhaps not quite the fleshiness of the 2005 or 2000, it is built more along the lines of the 1998 and 1996. It is a brilliant effort displaying sensational purity, texture, and length that should be exceptionally long-lived. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035 .

Score: 96

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2017-2035 01 February 2009

The 2006 Haut-Brion was somewhat closed when I tasted it, especially when compared to its blockbuster rival/sibling, La Mission Haut-Brion. The Haut-Brion (11,000 cases) is a tannic, backward wine at present revealing classic notes of smoke, scorched earth, liquid minerals, plums, currants, and cherries, medium body, and sensational purity as well as concentration. The high tannins will no doubt soften with aging in barrel, and, as Haut-Brion often does, the wine should expand and put on weight. While not as superb as the 2005 or 2000, the 2006 appears to be built along the lines of the 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.

Score: 92 - 94

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 01 January 1900

Tasted at Haut Brion. Limpid, purple and black hue. A very ripe nose, a little muted at present but with aeration reveals blackberry, hedgerow, a touch of vanilla and black tea, Very good definition. Nose explodes after 25 minutes in glass. Full-bodied with grippy, filigree tannins (like La Mission), fine acidity. The persistency is superb, lingering over a minute in the mouth. Touch of tobacco, blackberry - all that is lacking is a flourish and flesh on the finish - just a little linear at the moment, although that may change after barrel ageing. Great potential. Tasted April 2007.

Score: 94 - 96

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 30 April 2007

Firm deep crimson. Complex rather hidden nose - savoury and embryonic, tobacco perhaps. Round and lively - rather charming already on the palate. Lively fresh tannins on the finish and sufficient fruit in the middle to give one confidence to believe that the wine will eventually be well balanced. Certainly pretty inky overall though - the difference between it and La Mission is the fruit weight in the middle. Elegant rather than angular. More solid matter and a little more gravitas and majesty than La Mission.

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2015-2030 16 April 2007

With a celebrated history spanning more than 300 years, Chateau Haut Brion has built its reputation on consistency and elegance. The 2006 continues this tradition. The blend this year is predominantly Merlot (57% - picked at optimum ripeness before the rains) with 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. The team at Haut Brion says that in style it is close to the 1996 but with more power; it resembles the 1998 for concentration and is denser than the 1995. Analytically, this has the structure of the 2005 Haut Brion though 2006 it is much stricter in style. A classic Haut Brion nose of tobacco and scented fruits. An abundance of rich fruit and smokiness in the middle, wrapped in a smooth, caressing texture and everything held in place by an immense tannic backbone. 14%alcohol but carried effortlessly. Very refined and very long-lived.

Score: 93 - 95

Albany Vintners, - 01 April 2007

Captivating aromas of coffee, spice, violets and cedar follow through to a full-bodied palate, with refined tannins and a long finish. Lovely refinement for the vintage.

Score: 92 - 94

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 April 2007