57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc with yields of 41 hl/ha, which is just two hl/ha less than the 2009, but production will be just 7800 cases, some 26% less. The estate reported one of the lowest pH every recorded, so it is no surprise that this possesses wonderful freshness and lift, which complements the extraordinary levels of concentration and extract. A regal bouquet of brooding dark fruits, perfumed black cherries, spices, tobacco, high toned minerals and violets. The palate is awash with suave, detailed fruit, layer upon layer of complexity; it builds and builds to a crescendo. Enormous yet perfectly balanced, dense yet precise and effortlessly elegant, everything is perfectly in place and taut - a wine with paradoxical opulence and strictness, there is not a hair out of place; an exquisitely refined, polished Haut Brion and a worthy rival to the magnificent 2009.
Haut Brion has arguably been the most consistent First Growth over the past thirty years. The property can be traced back to the 14th century although the current owners can track their lineage back to 1935, when the American financier, Clarence Dillon bought the rather beleaguered estate. Now, Clarence Dillon’s great grandson, Prince Robert of Luxembourg presides. The other name synonymous with Haut Brion is that of the Delmas family. Three generations have made Haut Brion their life’s work, George (1921-1960), Jean Bernard (1960-2003) and Jean-Philippe (2003-to present).
Situated upon two gravel croupes, this exceptional terroir in the suburbs of Bordeaux benefits from the heat of the surrounding buildings, which enables the vines to achieve perfect ripeness in even the most challenging vintages. Due to the extra warmth, harvest dates are usually amongst the earliest in Bordeaux. The vineyards are planted with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc for the reds and Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for the whites. Aside from the Grand vins, the estate produces a second red wine, Clarence de Haut Brion, previously called Bahans de Haut Brion and a second white wine, Clarté de Haut Brion, previously named Plantiers de Haut Brion.