1996 Château Haut-Brion, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1996
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$460.00USD

Typically, Haut Brion is my favorite of all the first growths.  Perhaps because the blend is a bit different.  This vintage is 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc.  At age 24, this is just about at maturity.  Purple/ruby in color, but starting to show some browning.  Mostly clear and bright.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, tobacco and slight earthiness.  On the palate, a nice tart but sweet fruit - cherries, black cherries and slight black raspberries.  Layers of complexity.  Long finish.  This won't get better from here, but should have ten to fifteen years a

2009 Château Branon, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, cassis and coffee.  On the palate, this has a nice depth and complexity.  Cassis fruit layered with spice and slight earthiness.  Soft texture.  Medium tannins.  Good finish.  This is a very pretty wine that just now seems to be closing in on peak.  There is some more upside to this wine.  It will work well with roasts or grilled foods.  

2005 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This house may be better known now for their reds, but they make some fantastic whites as well.  And, as this bottle shows, they can be quite age worthy.  Medium golden in color.  The nose is nice with lemons, lemon peel, along with spice and vanilla.  There is a fair amount of oak still on the nose.  On the palate, plenty of lemons, slight wax, vanilla and spice.  Mild oak tannins.  Long finish.  There is still plenty of fruit left but also plenty of oak.  This should continue to slowly age out from here, but won't get any better.  Good finish.  This will work well with salmon or roasted d

2010 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$116.00USD

This is a white Bordeaux from the heart of the Graves region where some of the best white wines come from.  It is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon.  This is truly a wonderful wine that is just starting to get close to its peak.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is gorgeous.  Slightly waxy with pears, a touch of honey and citrus.  Very clean.  On the palate, this has just a bit of viscosity.  Lots of pears, slight apricot/honey and slight vanilla.  It is dry with good balance and acidity.  Lots of depth.  Long finish.  Probably at its peak for the next ten ye

2008 Château Haut-Bailly, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is certainly one of the stars of its region.  While not in the category of Haut Brion, neither is the pricing.  Of course, it is not inexpensive either.  This bottle was purchased on release.  It was allowed to breathe for an hour and then consumed over the next few.  Still on the young side, it offers up plenty of enjoyment right now.  If you have a few, go ahead.  If you just have one or two, then it's a hold.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, some cedar, spice and a bit of minerality.  On the palate, light tannins.  Tight layers that unwind in the glass of cass

2008 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, France, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$240.00USD

This is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc.  This was one of the least expensive wines in this magnificent tasting and really stood toe to toe with all of them.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, smoke, graphite and minerals.  Very expressive if not huge.  On the palate, there is a wonderful texture.  Cassis with layers of minerals and char.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This really took some time to open in the glass but then just kept getting better.  It seems like it will need another decade to fully mature and then have a couple more after that (which seems

2008 Château Haut-Brion, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$450.00USD

This is  50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc.  A gorgeous wine that is still very young.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is pretty classic for Haut Brion with cassis, crushed gravel, slight asphalt and strawberries.  On the palate there are silky but firm tannins.  Deep and complex, the layers unwind in the glass.  Cassis and black cherries, slight strawberries over gravel and earth.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This needs  another ten years to maturity and should be there for a couple more decades after that.  It is delicious right now but give it air. 

1995 Château Carbonnieux, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1995
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with some black cherries and cigar box.  On the palate, there is some black cherry fruit.  No tannins to speak of.  Not much depth but some complexity.  Good acidity.  Classic aged Bordeaux although given the pedigree, more was expected.  Still, a fine wine to serve with dinner.  It is probably past prime and these should be drunk  up.  

2006 Château Pape Clément Blanc, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Léognan

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

This bottle was bought on release back when it was affordable.  My last bottle, and it was served at dinner with friends along with an eggplant and tomato soup.  A very good pairing.  The wine itself is very interesting.  Plenty of depth and complexity but showing quite youthfully.  Medium golden in color.  The nose has apricots, slight vanilla, slight marzipan and a hint of tropical fruit.  On the palate, full bodied.  Ever so slightly oily texture.  Delicious vanilla, peach, and waxy notes.  Complex and layered, it unwinds nicely in a glass.  Great balance.  Long finish.  Everything I cou

2012 Château Haut-Brion, France, Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$450.00USD

Its hard to believe that a First Growth can exceed expectations, but this one did.  From a good not great vintage, this wine was tremendous.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is great with cherries, chocolate, and slight tobacco.  A soft texture that makes the wine very accessible.  Some silky tannins.  This is delicious.  Young but open.  Cherries and milk chocolate on the palate.  This will work with heavier foods.  This should get better over the next couple of decades, but it is great right now.  

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