Chateau Haut Brion Pessac Leognan [Pre-arrival] 2019
JS-99-100: The is very refined and elegant with a fine-tannined line running through the center of the palate. It’s very intense and precise. Full-bodied with great, tight fruit. This is subtle and complex, then it opens on the palate and shows incredible depth and intensity. Great length, going on and on for minutes.
WA97-99+: The 2019 Haut-Brion is a blend of 48.7% Merlot, 43.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.1% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 10th of September to the 3rd of October. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14.5%. Displaying a deep garnet-purple color, it comes off incredibly shy and reticent to begin, needing considerable coaxing to reveal notes of dark chocolate-covered cherries, blackberry preserves, woodsmoke and sandalwood, before launching into a full-scale fireworks display of iron ore, cumin seed, redcurrant jelly, red roses, oolong tea and Sichuan pepper scents plus a waft of cardamom. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers the most exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins with a lively backbone of freshness supporting the tightly wound, earth-laced black fruit layers, finishing very long and minerally. This is one of the most finely structured, tightly knit wines of the vintage. Given time, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it goes atomic and eventually takes top place for the vintage.
JD98-100: Compared to the La Mission Haut-Brion, the 2019 Château Haut-Brion is more backward and mineral-laced, with a dense purple color as well as notes of blueberry liqueur, black cherries, new leather, scorched earth, graphite, camphor, liquid rock-like minerality, and an almost Hermitage-like burning embers character. It doesn't have the overt power of Mouton, nor the sexiness of Château Margaux, yet it builds slowly and incrementally, with flawless balance, full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and a magical finish. My money is on this being one of the all-time greats from this address, in the same league as the 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, and 2018. It will need a solid decade of cellaring and have 40-50+ years of prime drinking.