Following the excellent release of La Mission Haut Brion, which embodied the spirit of en primeur and sold out, Haut Brion 2018 has released. In 2018 Haut Brion has been awarded 97-99+ from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate who describes it as having ‘epic strength and depth’. The plus in the score suggests this could still receive a perfect 100 points from Perrotti-Brown, indeed we felt it edged the 98-100 scoring La Mission Haut Brion from barrel. James Suckling awards it 98-99 points calling it ‘A classic beauty in the making’. Jeb Dunnuck awards it 97-99 proclaiming it to be ‘one of the most regal, classic wines in the vintage’.
In 2018, Haut Brion has not followed suit with La Mission Haut Brion’s en primeur strategy releasing above the Sterling 2016 release . With its banded score today’s release price does not currently offer a discount to recent vintages. Anything below a 99 point bottle score would see the 2018 fully priced to equivalent recent scoring vintages. However, Haut Brion is a remarkable wine, which in great vintages, produces masterpieces awarded perfect scores. The 100-point 2005 trades at £6,600 and the average price of these vintages is £5,910; today’s release trades at a 13% discount to this average price. This could be a big surprise from bottle and a 99 or a 100 point score could see a sharp price jump and considering Haut Brion’s ability to deliver from bottle, we expect at least a 99 point score.
Haut Brion is the only First Growth found outside of the Medoc, it is located in Graves in central Bordeaux. As the name suggests the top vineyards in this commune boast abundant gravel. Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion also have more sand in their vineyards than the Haut Medoc, accounting for the higher degree of Merlot planted and enhanced harmony and elegance of the wine. In the early 20th Century, Clarence Dillon, an American banker acquired Haut Brion. Dillon’s great-grandson Prince Robert of Luxembourg is the current custodian. Most vintages are medium bodied, its richness and power on the palate balance beautifully with its trademark distinctive tobacco flavour common to Graves. Haut Brion is famed for its smoky spice flavours and can be recognised by a distinct aroma of truffles and fine Havana Cigars.
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