Chateau Haut Brion   Haut Brion

2002 Haut Brion

By Chateau Haut Brion

2002 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Embarking upon a tasting of the 2002 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, one is immediately struck by the resilience and character that radiate from this particular vintage. Despite the challenges presented in the early parts of the growing season, including an unseasonably cool and damp August, this wine truly embodies the spirit of endurance and precision in the face of adversity.


A Testament to Terroir and Tenacity

The fruition of this vintage came with a dramatic shift towards favourable conditions, where September graced the Bordeaux region with ample sunshine and optimal temperatures, ushering in a period of excellent ripening. This serendipitous change of fortunes is deftly captured within each bottle, contributing to a truly unique investment prospect for savvy collectors.


The Prowess of a Vintage Underdog

The assemblage of 2002 Haut Brion presents an intricate kaleidoscope of flavours. On the nose, it's not loud but whispers complexities of earthy minerals mixed with dark fruit nuances. The subtle power continues across the palate offering surprising depth and length given the year's climatic rollercoaster. Its tannin profile is admirably refined - not overly assertive, thereby serving a velvety backdrop to the symphony of maturity that is unfolding as the wine enters its third decade.

A testament to the strength inherent within Chateau Haut Brion's vineyards and winemaking philosophy, the 2002 vintage stands as evidence that even years of less universal acclaim can yield wines of profound grace. This is particularly notable for investors looking for vintages that defy expectation and exude character in spades.

In closing, while not coming from an en vogue year, the 2002 Haut Brion deserves recognition as a vintage that has elegantly overcome initial scepticism to emerge as a compelling embodiment of Pessac-Leognan's prestigious terroir. The underdog vigour wrapped within its nuanced complexities makes it one to watch for long-term wine investment portfolios.

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Scores and tasting notes


Tasted blind at Farr’s 2002 Bordeaux tasting. Very good intensity on the nose with blackberry, black olive, gravel and hot bricks/cedar. Great definition. The full-bodied palate is very dense and sturdy with gripping tannins. Very precise, obviously a lot of craftsmanship, but not as complex as some of the other First Growth ‘02s with autumn leaves fluttering down upon the elegant finish. A lovely wine to drink rather than intellectualize over. Tasted October 2009.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2010


Aromas of minerals, forest floor, fresh mushrooms, plums, and currants are present in the moderately fragrant bouquet. Angular, with hard tannin, medium body, and sweet plums as well as currants, this 2002 is harder and tougher-textured than from barrel. Like many 2002s, it is reserved and angular at present. It remains to be seen whether it will flesh out and reveal more charm and succulence. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 28 April 2005

Vintage performance