Chateau Haut Brion   Haut Brion

2012 Haut Brion

By Chateau Haut Brion

2012 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

My encounter with the 2012 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion elucidated why touchstone vintages of this illustrious label are eagerly sought by fine wine investors. Amid the tapestry of Bordeaux's storied estates, the first-growth clout of Chateau Haut Brion shines with particular luminance.


An Auspicious Harvest in Challenging Climes

In the year 2012, the Pessac-Leognan region witnessed a series of climatic challenges, yet it culminated in a harvest that defied expectations, turning restraint into elegance. The 2012 Haut Brion eloquently testifies to the deftness of its makers' hands and the resilience of its vines. One finds a poise between ripeness and acidity, a signature move for this vintage.

This year's offering is a medley that whispers complexity rather than shouting opulence. Upon decanting, an immediate aria of smoky earth intertwines with notes of black cherries and cigar box held aloft by an undercurrant of subtle graphite elegance. On the palate, it unfurls layers of plush dark fruits edged with hints of spice and truffle, all meticulously wrapped in finely woven tannins.


A Vintage Destined for Cellar Glory

The 2012 Haut Brion carries an intellectual gravitas alongside its palate charm — promising cellar longevity that will delight the discerning patron. It's a wine that flaunts finesse over flamboyance; an investment-worthy bottle that will not only mature with grace but ascend in desirability.

Canny investors would do well to secure allocations of this vintage, considering its promise for decades to come. Thus indeed, as one mindful of variations in seasonal dance and their imprint on vine fruit, I commend the 2012 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion as a paragon of complex sustainability amidst climatic caprice—a beacon for collectors and connoisseurs alike.


Investment Acumen Meets Collectible Brilliance

Embodied within each bottle of 2012 Haut Brion lies not only a superb addition to one's cellar but a potential keystone in the archway to vinous appreciation. It's a testament to the perspicacity of those who understand the worth in patiently awaiting the mystique enshrined within maturing vintages. Assertive yet serenely balanced, here is a wine that articulates Bordeaux excellence as eloquently as any collector could wish.

Current market price



Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


This is fabulous for the vintage with a super long finish of ultra-fine tannins. Full and racy with a wonderful texture. This is the most Merlot ever in Haut-Brion. Rich too. One of the wines of the vintage. 65.5% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc.

James Suckling -, November 14th 2013


The Grand Vin is a blend of 65.5% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, which is one of the highest percentages of Merlot. It has a ripe, generous bouquet with hints of orange blossom and liquorice infused the red fruit profile. The Merlot clearly defined the character of the 2012. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm grip on the entry – more so than La Mission. This is deeper and more structured than the La Mission, perhaps quite masculine which is quite surprising considering the blend. It has great length. This is one of the great successes of the vintage and there is a clear gap between here and La Mission. Tasted April 2013.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2013


Tasted blind at the Southwold 2012 tasting, the 2012 Haut-Brion has an open and generous bouquet with blackcurrant pastille, cassis and briary aromas the exude very pure Merlot. The palate is medium-bodied with a sumptuous opening that is rare in 2012: rounded and generous, caressing in the mouth with black plum and blackcurrant towards the finish, residues of truffle and white pepper lingering on the aftertaste that turn very savory after 15 minutes—bacon fat or Italian cured meats. There is a lot to love about this Haut-Brion although in this blind showing I scored it the same as La Mission Haut-Brion. Who will stick their neck out as the two wines mature? Tasted January 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 October 2016


The 2012 Haut-Brion, which represents only 46% of the production, is a blend of 65% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. One of the stars of the vintage, it is a complete, medium to full-bodied, soft, round, atypically accessible effort displaying lots of minerality along with red and black fruits, exceptional fragrance and purity, a fleshy mid-palate and a long finish. A remarkable fact in both these wines is that the alcohol levels in 2012 hit 14.8%, which nearly equals the record levels achieved in 2010

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #206

Vintage performance