Haut Brion 2021

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Tasting Notes and Scores

96-97+

Bordeaux Index

Darker and more brooding than La Mission with notes of soy and balsamic underneath the deep, pure blackcurrant and plum fruit, lifted by fresh tobacco and fine, warm brick and light stone minerality.The palate is extremely pretty and with real depth through the mid palate. Very pure, supple, rich texture again lifted by a freshness that comes from a combination of fine minerality and perfectly integrated acidity. Really great power, but held back with restraint and a gentle touch.
April 2022

96-98

Wine Advocate

A candidate for the title of wine of the vintage, the 2021 Haut-Brion unwinds in the glass with aromas of rich red and black fruit mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, licorice, black truffles, loamy soil and burning embers. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's elegant and multidimensional, with superb depth at the core, lively acids and ultra-refined tannins. Combining the classical proportions of the vintages of two decades ago with the viticultural and winemaking of today, it's a timeless classic in the making, but it's difficult to find an obvious analogy with an older vintage. When pressed, Jean-Philippe Delmas suggests a superior version of the 2014 vintage, and to me, a more concentrated, serious version of the 2012 vintage also comes to mind. What is clear, however, is that this is one of the real high points of 2021. The blend is 50% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc, and it attained 13.8% alcohol—a percentage point or so lower than in 2020 or 2019.
William Kelley, April 2022

95-97

Neal Martin

The 2021 Haut-Brion has a more extravagant, charming bouquet compared directly with the La Mission at the moment, offering copious blackberry, black truffle, undergrowth and menthol scents. The palate is very well balanced, harmonious and poised, with fine-grained tannins and an almost pixelated finish. This Haut-Brion seems to have reveled in the cooler growing season, and at 13.8% alcohol, there is almost a degree less than recent vintages. Jean-Philippe Delmas has fashioned a contender for wine of the vintage. Neal Martin, Vinous, May 2022

97-98

James Suckling

A very structured young Haut-Brion with blackberry, blackcurrant, black-olive and mushroom character. Medium to full-bodied with a driving balance of firm and ripe tannins and gorgeous fruit. 50.3% merlot, 38% cabernet sauvignon and 11.7% cabernet franc.
May 2022

18

Jancis Robinson

Bright crimson-purple. Fragrant berry-fruit notes as the wine opens. Smooth and refined on attack, the mid palate full and generous swathing powerful but integrated tannins. Impressive length and drive. Quite a powerhouse for such a complicated year. Huge potential. (JL) 13.8%
Drink 2032 – 2055
Jancisrobinson.com, May 2022

95-97

Antonio Galloni

The 2021 Haut-Brion is all class, all finesse. Naturally the overt intensity of recent vintages is replaced by a more understated style in 2021. Silky tannins caress a core of dark cherry/plum fruit. Hints of lavender, new leather, cloves and menthol gradually open. The trademark Haut-Brion aromatics are going to need a number of years in bottle to develop. The 2021 is hardly a blockbuster, and yet in many ways it is so primary.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, May 2022

95

Jane Anson

A classical balance, reflecting a vintage that is fairly strict in its aromatic expression, exceptionally successful on this spot. Soft cassis bud, rose petal and rose stem, subdued power that gently builds over the palate. Unquestionably a different architecture to Haut-Brion than over the past few years, and there is a sculpted feel to the cassis and bilberry fruits, still with concentration and weight through the palate, expertly constructed. Feels like a window to the past, and is delicious. Harvest September 13 to October 8, with no Petit Verdot used this year. 73% new oak.
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux, May 2022

93-95

The Wine Independent

The 2021 Haut-Brion is a blend of 50% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a lot of swirling and convincing to coax out notions of redcurrant jelly, raspberry coulis, blackcurrant pastilles, and graphite, plus suggestions of cloves, crushed rocks, and underbrush. Medium-bodied, the palate is a little like sucking on stones at this stage, chock full of minerals with emerging black and red fruits, framed by ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and earthy. A very different style and expression of Haut-Brion than in recent years, and yet this is equally evocative and simply gorgeous.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, May 2022