Haut Brion 1982
Tasting Notes Haut Brion 1982
This is a phenomenal 1982 and it remains the most drinkable of the first growths. A strong iodine character here enveloped by delicious currants, shaved chocolate and spices. Full body with super-integrated tannins and a refined texture. Wonderful balance.
Tasted at Pebbles/Zachy's 1982 dinner in Hong Kong. Comparing the Haut Brion '82 directly against La Mission and La Tour Haut-Brion '82, it is clear that the aromatics are here the most subtle and complex with scents of red fruit, autumn leaves, black truffle and bay leaf, all with immense clarity and poise. The palate is defined by its filigree tannins, an otherworldly symmetry and sedateness that perhaps make this the most drinkable for First Growths from this haloed vintage. Hints of melted tar and tobacco become more pronounced towards the finish that might not have the chutzpah of the La Mission but is simple...class. Tasted November 2012.
I know Jean Delmas, whom I respect as one of the world's greatest wine producers, has always thought the 1982 Haut Brion was similar to the 1959, but I have yet to see that. It seems to me the 1989 is closer to the 1959, another perfect wine and one of the all-time great Haut Brions. While the 1982 is a beauty, it has never hit the highest notes this vintage or terroir can achieve. Complex aromatics of scorched earth, smoked herbs, and sweet red and black currants are followed by a full-bodied, silky-textured wine, but I have never felt this offering has possessed the concentration, texture, or multidimensional personality found in such vintages as 1989, 1990, and more recent years. Nevertheless, this is essentially splitting hairs as the 1982 remains a superb Haut Brion. Seemingly less evolved than the 1990, it is capable of another 20-30 years of longevity. Perhaps there is something in reserve that will reveal itself in the next decade. Drink now-2035. Release price: ($400.00/case)