Haut Brion 2005
Tasting Notes Haut Brion 2005
This is a wine that makes you dream. The nose is packed with flowers, sweet tobacco, iodine, spices, raspberries, blackberries, and great freshness. The texture is perfection, pure silk and the fruit is wonderfully complex and subtle. Currants, fresh mushrooms, flowers, and stones fill the mouth and make way to a delightful finish. Please leave this alone until 2020.
Another profound effort from Haut-Brion, the 2005 (a 9,000-case blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc) has bulked up to the point that it is fair to compare it to the great successes of 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2000. A dark ruby/purple color is followed by a nuanced, noble bouquet of blue and red fruits interwoven with wet stones, unsmoked cigar tobacco, scorched earth, and spring flowers. The wine is full-bodied, pure, and complex as well as exceptionally elegant with laser-like precision. The tannins are still serious and substantial, and in that sense, this is a completely different style of Haut-Brion than the opulent, silky-textured 1989 and 1990. As I have written before, it comes across as an improved, more concentrated and structured version of the 1995 or 1998. Patience will be required for this stunner. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040+
Tasted single blind at Southwold. This is relatively subdued on the nose. Very closed: black fruits, a touch of black olives, bacon fat and game. Complex but broody and sullen. The palate has a rich, opulent entry with thick chewy tannins, again massive grip in the mouth. A lot of oak at the moment but there is more than enough fruit intensity here to balance it up. Breathtaking purity and definition, a tangible sense of minerality. I think decanting would improve the aromatics, because the palate has it all, and some. I wish I had longer with this, you can see it awakening in the glass. Do not touch this for another ten years. Drink 2018-2050+ Tasted January 2009.