Typically Haut Brion has a complex bouquet of ripe fruit, tobacco and mineral, earthy scents. Rich, ripe, medium to full-bodied and well structured. A wine that seems to balance power and elegance, richness and harmony perfectly.
Wine Advocate 100 points - 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. (Feb 2012)
Wine Advocate 98 points - There are 10,500 cases of the 2009 Haut-Brion, from a blend of 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 14% Cabernet Franc. For technicians, the highest ever natural alcohol, 14.3%, was achieved, with a pH of 3.9, which is about the same as the 1989 and 1990, as well as 1959. This is the kind of wine to send chills even up my spine, and I have been tasting here for nearly 30 years. An extraordinary nose of plum, blueberry, raspberry, crushed rock, and that intriguing floral as well as unsmoked cigar tobacco note (a classic sign of this terroir) is followed by a wine of creamy unctuosity reminiscent of 1989, but there is a freshness, vibrancy and precision that is historic and possibly unprecedented. Some graphite emerges as the wine sits in the glass, but the wine is very thick while at the same time precise and elegant. This is the quintessential expression of one of the greatest wine terroirs of the world. To reiterate, the good news is that there are going to be 10,500 cases of Haut-Brion in 2009, which is about 1,500 more cases than the 9,000 produced in 2005. This wine will probably need 7-8 years of cellaring when released and evolve as well as the 1959 has (which is still a perfect wine today), so we’re realistically talking 50-75 years when stored in a cool cellar. (Tasted once.)