The 2009 Haut-Brion has a less precocious but more detailed bouquet, more nuanced perhaps with warm slates baking in the summer sun, tilled loam and cedar infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, perfect acidity, layers of mineral-rich black fruit. This seems to have gained more complexity in recent years and is beginning to flirt with perfection. It’s not there yet, but it is moving in that direction. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits' Ten Year On tasting.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2065
Robert Parker 100
What a blockbuster effort! Atypically powerful, one day, the 2009 Haut-Brion may be considered to be the 21st century version of the 1959. It is an extraordinarily complex, concentrated effort made from a blend of 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc with the highest alcohol ever achieved at this estate, 14.3%. Even richer than the perfect 1989, with similar technical numbers although slightly higher extract and alcohol, it offers up a sensational perfume of subtle burning embers, unsmoked cigar tobacco, charcoal, black raspberries, wet gravel, plums, figs and blueberries. There is so much going on in the aromatics that one almost hesitates to stop smelling it. However, when it hits the palate, it is hardly a letdown. This unctuously textured, full-bodied 2009 possesses low acidity along with stunning extract and remarkable clarity for a wine with a pH close to 4.0. The good news is that there are 10,500 cases of the 2009, one of the most compelling examples of Haut-Brion ever made. It requires a decade of cellaring and should last a half century or more. Readers who have loved the complexity of Haut-Brion should be prepared for a bigger, richer, more massive wine, but one that does not lose any of its prodigious aromatic attractions.