Chateau Haut Brion 2018 red wines tasting notes on futures and ratings “en primeur” by Ronald Rens, M.Sc., Wine Master, Bordeaux Expert
Haut Brion 2018 red wines
I tasted the Haut Brion wines in the professional tasting room in the tower of the chateau with Jean-Philippe Masclef, the Technical director of Haut Brion. My tasting here included of course Haut Brion, but also La Mission Haut Brion as well as the superb white wines that are produced here. Masclef told me that their tendency was to harvest the Merlots a bit earlier and to let the Cabernet Sauvignon ripen a bit more. It was a great vintage for the Merlots at Haut Brion. The Cabernet Sauvignons were ripe, rich and powerful. The Cabernet Francs were more risky because of the drainage in the fields where they are planted. The risk is that they get too dry. This didn’t happen because there was so much water in the subsoil as a result of the heavy rains in the first half of the year. Jean-Philippe told me that they are planning to plant the Cabernet Franc on different parcels in the future. The Cabernet Franc of the older plots went all into the haut Brion, the younger Cabernet Francs went into the second wine.
Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 2018 (red wines)
Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion 2018, second wine of La Mission Haut Brion (17,5 points)
[51,6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40,8% Merlot and 7,6% Cabernet Franc]
Deep ruby red color with an intense purple rim. Expressive nose with red and especially black fruit. On the palate there is licorice, and elegant fruit with ripe tannins. A great structure, especially for a second wine. Excellent freshness and length for a second wine.
La Mission Haut Brion 2018 (19,5 points)
[53,5% Merlot, 42,9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3,6% Cabernet Franc]
Way more intense color than the Chapelle. Both clearer and deeper color with an interesting purple ruby rim. Rather discreet on the nose with some delicate fruit notes. Takes a bit of time to open up but then we have the classic nose of La Mission Haut Brion. In the mouth there is an avalanche of red and black fruit. Extraordinary ripe and strong tannins. This wine combines elegance and power in a way I haven’t seen before in a La Mission. Notes of licorice and vanilla. Incredible length. Another great La Mission Haut Brion. Well done.
Chateau Haut Brion 2018 (red wines)
Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2018 (Second wine of Haut Brion) (18,5 points)
[58,2% Merlot, 28,5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9,7% Cabernet Franc and 3,6% Petit Verdot]
Even more intense in color than the Chapelle going a bit towards purple. The nose shows beautiful crisp red and black fruit. Keeps opening up and showing even more complexity. On the palate there is a superb fresh and precise expression of the fruit. An incredible tannic structure for this second wine. Very good length! Very well done!
Haut Brion 2018 (19,5 points)
[49,4% Merlot, 38,7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11,9% Cabernet Franc]
Even more intense in color than the La Mission Haut Brion with a deeper purple in the rim. Incredible ripe and concentrated crisp red and black fruit on the nose. On the palate there is a super fruit in a perfection I haven’t taste many time on futures. The typical tobacco notes. Even more elegant than the La Mission. Super ripe and elegant tannins and a finale lasting minutes on your palate. It seems like this wine may be approachable earlier than the 2014 or the 2016 but the structure, density and incredible tannins will guarantee a long future. The high alcohol (14,6) is altogether in balance with the tannins and the structure. Simply a superb Haut Brion for the long-term ageing.
See and taste all five First Growths with the Bordeaux Wine Experience
Each of our Bordeaux Wine Tours includes tastings of the iconic five First-Growths Château Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion and Margaux plus the legendary Yquem, along with château-accommodation and exclusive meals in venues not open to the public.7 Keys that turn your Bordeaux Wine Tour into a Bordeaux Wine Experience
- All-inclusive small-group Bordeaux Wine Tours (6 days, 5 nights).
- Personalized visits and tastings at Bordeaux’s best wineries.
- The unique Bordeaux Wine Experience atmosphere.
- Taste over 60 wines including all 5 First Growths and Château d’Yquem!
- Expert (and humorous) guidance by Bordeaux-Insider:
Ronald Rens, M. Sc., Wine Master.
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