Pessac’s First Growth, Haut-Brion is an ancient, earthy and astonishingly complex wine. The château was established as far back as the 16th century, and the wine is famously mentioned by Samuel Pepys in his diary of 1663. Whether the wine produced now bears much resemblance to what Pepys tried we don’t know, but today it is earthy, harmonious, deep-flavoured and multi-faceted. The only non-Médoc First Growth, Haut-Brion, from Pessac, is undoubtedly of exceptional quality.
Château Haut-Brion, Péssac-Leognan, 1er Cru Classé, 2008: ‘the wine of the vintage’: and 96 points from Robert Parker
The 2008 Haut-Brion is hailed as the finest of the First Growths. Writes Robert M Parker MW, the hugely influential connoisseur, ‘The extraordinary 2008 Haut-Brion is a candidate for -wine of the vintage. It reveals more evolution and complexity in its large-scaled perfume. The dense purple color is followed by a sweet nose of creosote, asphalt, blueberries, black currants and jammy raspberries, sweet tannins, a savory, fleshy mouthfeel and a stunning finish. This incredibly pure, noble wine was produced from one of the estate’s smallest crops (only 7,000 cases produced versus the usual 12,000 cases). It should drink well for three decades or more. Score 96.’ Wine Advocate (194), May 2011.
Current retail price £720 per bottle. CCUK £659. Duty paid. Includes VAT and UK delivery.