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There are 10,500 cases of the 2009 Haut-Brion, from a blend of 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 14% Cabernet Franc. For technicians, the highest ever natural alcohol, 14.3%, was achieved, with a pH of 3.9, which is about the same as the 1989 and 1990, as well as 1959. This is the kind of wine to send chills even up my spine, and I have been tasting here for nearly 30 years. An extraordinary nose of plum, blueberry, raspberry, crushed rock, and that intriguing floral as well as unsmoked cigar tobacco note (a classic sign of this terroir) is followed by a wine of creamy unctuosity reminiscent of 1989, but there is a freshness, vibrancy and precision that is historic and possibly unprecedented. Some graphite emerges as the wine sits in the glass, but the wine is very thick while at the same time precise and elegant. This is the quintessential expression of one of the greatest wine terroirs of the world. To reiterate, the good news is that there are going to be 10,500 cases of Haut-Brion in 2009, which is about 1,500 more cases than the 9,000 produced in 2005. This wine will probably need 7-8 years of cellaring when released and evolve as well as the 1959 has (which is still a perfect wine today), so we're realistically talking 50-75 years when stored in a cool cellar. (Tasted once.) Score: 98-100 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010
A dark and brooding wine, delivering blackberry, black licorice, mahogany, subtle grilled meat and raspberry jam. Full-bodied, with layers of ripe and chewy tannins. Loads of fruit yet subtle and reserved, and a long, long finish. Super fruit, yet held back. A 2005 in the remaking, but perhaps slightly supercharged. Score: 97-100 James Suckling,, March 2010

57% of the crop went into this. The alcohol level was 14% in 2005 when there was lots of Merlot, but in 2009 when the assemblage was 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, it reached 14.3%, the highest ever. What problems did this cause? Jean-Philippe Delmas was asked. 'To find the right yeast.' He smiled, adding, 'and the fermentation was very long: three weeks with a very long malolactive fermentation. This was the first time they had such high alcohols with Cabernet. Dark crimson with a little more blue than La Mission. LOVELY supple exciting nervy nose with a great deal of integrity and complexity already. Reminds me a little of Ch Margaux in its immediate appeal and class, even if the actual aromas are different (though equally terroir-driven). Real knockout stuff with lovely suppleness on the palate and real grace. Not a blockbuster, amazingly; it seems beautifully balanced. It has the same dense tannic charge but with a bit more fruit and less austerity than La Mission. Very long. So it's definitely Haut-Brion, just more concentrated than usual! Lots of pleasure and luxury. Date tasted 2nd April 2010. Drink 2018-2040. Score: 19 Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2010


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