The 2020 Haut-Brion has a smorgasbord of red and black fruit on the nose, Indian ink and pressed violets, touches of undergrowth (morels?) emerging with time in the glass. There is just a note of reduction here. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, fresh and saline, with hints of black olive and white pepper. A lingering, very controlled, black pepper tinged finish is very harmonious and understated – remarkable given the 15% alcohol, slightly higher than La Mission. Excellent but I am not convinced that would put it in the top tier of this First Growth at least, not yet.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2055
Robert Parker 99
The 2020 Haut-Brion is a blend of 42.8% Merlot, 39.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17.5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from 7th to 29th September, with an estimated alcohol of 15% and a pH of 3.8. Opaque purple-black colored, it leaps from the glass with a first wave of vibrant black raspberries, ripe blackberries and mulberries scents, followed by a powerful core of warm cassis, dark chocolate and violets, before bursting into an array of crushed rocks, iron ore, tree bark and black truffles notes. The concentrated, densely packed, full-bodied palate is not in the least bit heavy, delivering a refreshing backbone of red berry and dried herbs suggestions, framed by seamless acidity and very finely grained tannins, finishing on an epically long, fragrant earth note. Simply stunning.
Anticipated maturity: 2029-2064