2017 Haut Brion
By Chateau Haut Brion
The 2017 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
As a pacesetting standard of the fine Bordeaux reds, the 2017 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion encapsulates the essence of its esteemed pedigree. While the year's erratic climate posed a challenge to lesser estates, this venerated château emerged with a vintage of grace and tenacity. It is with great pleasure that I share with you my tasting notes on a wine that, despite its youthful state, promises great potential for wine investment.
A Year of Climatic Caprice
2017 was nothing if not capricious in Bordeaux. A devastating frost early in the year set a sombre tone, sparing some while ravaging others. Within this framework, Chateau Haut Brion's astute vineyard management shone through; their diligent stewardship has been instrumental in yielding a wine that gracefully defies the vintage’s adversities. This is a testament to the resilient terroir of Pessac-Leognan and the sound adaptability of Chateau Haut Brion’s viticultural practice.
Characteristics of Intellect and Austerity
Tasting the 2017 Haut Brion reveals a vibrant yet cerebral amalgam—a clear transmission of soil to sensation. The palate is greeted by disciplined dark fruit tones clasped tightly within a firm tannic structure, suggesting a longevity that serious collectors crave. Subtle undertones of smoky gravel and dried herbs dapple this wine's robust framework, honouring its Pessac-Leognan heritage with every sip.
An undercurrent of complexity hints at a profound evolution over time, proposing a future where the nascent austerity matures into an elegant testimony of one of Bordeaux’s legendary names.
In Conclusion: A Sylvan Mirror Reflecting Both Time and Terroir
In sum, the 2017 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion presents as an investment-grade vintage embodying both immediate charm and an assurance for maturity. The sophisticated palate nuances married with what can only be described as strategic tannic foresight speak of an asset that may very well redefine portfolio holdings as it reaches its zenith. This wine, deep-rooted in tradition yet dancing nimbly across temporal prospects, invites connoisseurs to revel in the sheer poetry that is Pessac-Leognan—a poetry penned under trying conditions, yet flourishing against the odds.
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Scores and tasting notes
A blend of 53% Merlot, 6.3% Cabernet Franc and 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Haut-Brion sashays gracefully out of the glass with fragrant notions of black raspberries, kirsch, dark chocolate, star anise and candied violets with a core of warm red and black currants and a touch of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with red and black fruit layers, superbly supported by firm, ripe, finely grained tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 16 March 2020
A tight and focused red with dark-berry, chocolate and hazelnut character. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a linear and fine finish. Very refined. Elegant and balanced.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com
Composed of 53% Merlot, 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.3% Cabernet Franc, the very deep purple-black colored 2017 Haut-Brion is a little closed on the nose, revealing fresh blackberries, black currants and dark chocolate with suggestions of pencil shavings, beef drippings, tilled soil and cracked black pepper plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, it has very firm, ripe, grainy tannins and a lively backbone structuring the tightly knit earth and black fruit layers, finishing with compelling mineral and perfumed layers.
Wine Advocate - Lisa Perrotti-Brown - robertparker.com
The 2017 Haut-Brion is intriguing. Less powerful and explosive than it can be, in 2017 Haut-Brion makes its case with persistence over heft. Time in the glass brings out attractive suggestions of tobacco, game, bacon fat, iron and wild cherry. It will be interesting to see where the 2017 goes from here. Today, it lacks the visceral thrill that makes the best vintages utterly irresistible, even if the phenomenally long finish is a thing of real beauty. The blend is 53% Merlot, 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.3% Cabernet Franc.
Antonio Galloni - Antonio Galloni - vinous.com - May '18
The 2017 Haut-Brion was picked from 31 August to 29 September, the longest harvest ever, matured in 69% new oak with 14.25% alcohol (lower than recent vintages.) It has a more generous bouquet than the La Mission Haut-Brion at this point: black cherries, blueberry, a little confit fruit, hints of warm gravel and clove. It is much more restrained than the previous vintages – cooler and linear. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, nicely structured with more grip in the mouth than the La Mission. What it has in common with the aforementioned is a sense of symmetry. It feels very persistent with a light marine/oyster shell influence on the finish. This probably has the edge over the La Mission Haut-Brion at the moment, but intra-family competitiveness aside, it boils down to a great follow-up to the brilliant 2015 and 2016.
Neal Martin - Neal Martin - vinous.com - May '18