Chateau Haut Brion   Haut Brion

2011 Haut Brion

By Chateau Haut Brion

2011 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

The esteemed 2011 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion asserts itself with an operose narrative, a tale woven by a season that challenged vintners and yet yielded fruits with auspicious vigour. In the Pessac-Leognan appellation, 2011 was a year that offered a veritable test of the vineyard's mettle, revealing the resilience and adaptive savvy of Chateau Haut Brion.


Distinct Vintage, Remarkable Adaptation

An early bud break and remarkably warm spring anticipated an earlier harvest, yet it was the summer's commingling of heat spurts and cooling breezes that sculpted this vintage’s unique character. This capricious climate engendered a meticulous selection in the vineyard and profound attention in the cellar. The result is a 2011 Haut Brion that exhibits both the audacity and elegance which investors and connoisseurs seek in Bordelais wines.


Climatic Crescendo Meets Masterful Vinification

Against this backdrop of temperamental weather shifts, the wine unfurls a tapestry of deeply concentrated flavours – ripe cassis and plums are layered with hints of cigar box and black truffle, underscored by a fine minerality characteristic of Chateau Haut Brion’s gravel-rich terroir. Aged gracefully, it manifests profound complexity with just enough restraint to hint at its storied origin. The wine’s structure holds with incredible grace; firm tannins are now mellowed enough to suggest that while accessible now, it holds promise for another decade or more in the cellar.

To engage with the 2011 Haut Brion is to experience the synergy of exacting viticulture practice and adroit winemaking. It remains a touchstone for investments in Pessac-Leognan wines—a signal to those who seek to expand their portfolio with representations of adaptability and resilience mirrored in Bordeaux's tumultuous climate narratives.

In summation, this vintage bestows upon us an enlightening snapshot of 2011—an exemplar vintage where nature's trials have been artfully transmuted into bottled poise. As it matures, its arc of development will persist as a bastion for wise investment consideration among collectors and enthusiasts alike—a wine that not only tells the story of its year but also promises chapters yet to be savoured.

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Scores and tasting notes


Lots of subtle redcurrant and berry character, with flowers and sweet tobacco on the nose. Full body, super-integrated tannins and a light shaved-chocolate, berry and cedar character. A decadence and beauty to this that wakes you up. Better in 2018.

James Suckling -, January 28th 2014


The Haut Brion is a blend of 34.8% Merlot, 18.9% Cabernet Franc and 46.3% Cabernet Sauvignon. The bouquet has a little more thrust than the La Mission with a little more opulence, although perhaps not the same degree of clarity and showing slightly more alcohol (but nothing to get concerned about.) It has good weight, firm rigid tannins and a weightier framework than La Mission. It is concentrated and generous with very good focus, a crescendo of flavours towards the finish and very good grip. A masterful Haut-Brion that is more voluminous than La Mission at present. Tasted April 2012.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2012


The unbelievably superb 2011 Haut-Brion (a tiny production of 7,600 cases from a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 19% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a classic nose of subtle smoldering embers, warm rocks, black currants, new saddle leather, spice box and high quality, unsmoked cigar tobacco. The color is a dense ruby/purple to the edge, and the wine cuts a serious as well as broad swath across the palate. The most amazing aspect of this terroir is that the wine, despite all its power and richness, literally dances on the palate, as if it were a 90 pound ballerina. This brilliant 2011 should evolve quickly, hitting its prime in 7-8 years, and drink beautifully for 20-25 years.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #212 Apr 2014


Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2011 Haut Brion has always been an excellent Pessac-Léognan, though recent encounters suggest it does not have the potential of the 2012. It has a gentle and caressing bouquet full of copious dark cherry and raspberry fruit, a touch of saddle leather and a seam of dark chocolate emanating from the oak regime, which needs more time to integrate (though it is not an Haut-Brion that is going to demand years and years in bottle). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and feels gentle in the mouth. It is very well balanced, although perhaps the oak comes through too strongly on the finish, when frankly there is no need. Nevertheless, this is a classic Pessac-Léognan - maybe "mild mannered" and a little conservative compared to more ambitious recent vintages, yet there is no doubting its class and pedigree. Tasted December 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 February 2017

Vintage performance