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External Reviews for Chateau Haut Brion Blanc Premier Cru Classe Weingut Emmerich Knoll
No first-growth administrator has been on a hotter streak in terms of consistency and quality than Haut-Brionandrsquo;s Jean Delmas, where nearly everything since the late seventies has been meritorious. Haut-Brionandrsquo;s terrific 1994 does not possess either the thick, unctuous texture or the weight of La Mission. Like La Mission, it contains more Merlot than normal, but the result is an elegant wine with medium to full body, exceptional concentration and purity, great balance and harmony, a dazzling aromatic profile consisting of sweet, mineral, cassis, and white chocolate scents, similar flavors, an enthralling texture, and a long, highly-concentrated finish. This is a gorgeously supple and precocious Haut-Brion that avoids tasting heavy or out of balance, rather amazing for such a young wine. The 1994 reminds me of the 1985, but with more plumpness and fat. Only 66% of Haut-Brionandrsquo;s harvest (which ended on 9/24) made it into the grand vin.
The blockbuster 2003 Haut-Brion (13% alcohol) possesses extremely high tannin, but that component is well-concealed by a cascade of mulberry, blackberry, cherry, and plum-like fruit. There is even a hint of figs under the blue and red fruit spectrum. While broad and ripe with a sweet, glyceral mouthfeel as well as a long, powerful, persistent finish, it retains its elegance and nobility. A wine of both power and finesse, it will benefit from 3ndash;4 years of cellaring, and keep for 25ndash;30.
Whether itrsquo;s a coincidence, or because in relatively cool years the first-growth terroirs are brilliant, Haut-Brion has turned out a beautifully classic, medium-bodied, precise and focused 2002 boasting a deep ruby/purple color as well as strikingly elegant aromatics (crushed stones, plums, black cherries, currants, figs, and earth). The wine possesses impressively measured power and elegance offered in a medium-bodied, nicely-structured, exceptionally pure format. It is unusual for Haut-Brion to dominate La Mission Haut-Brion at such a young age, but it certainly does in the 2002 vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010ndash;2024.
The 1998 continues to emulate the style of recent prodigious Haut-Brions. With all due respect to the glorious 1995, the 1998 appears to be the finest wine produced since Haut-Brionrsquo;s prodigious 1989 and 1990. It reveals more aromatic and flavor dimensions than it did last year. The dense ruby/purple color is followed by classic, developing aromas of minerals, lead pencil, earth, and black cherries/currants. On the palate, additional dimensions and nuances unfold. Tannic and powerful, but with sweet fruit, ripe tannin, and great length and richness, this profound, firmly-structured Haut-Brion will require 4ndash;6 years of bottle age; it should drink well for three decades.
There are only 10,000 cases of this 2003 (12.85% alcohol, high for this estate). A blend of 58% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc, it reveals, more tannin and a tougher texture than it did last year. Deep ruby/purple to the rim, with a fragrant bouquet of plums, figs, hot rocks, and tobacco smoke, this medium-bodied claret possesses outstanding concentration and purity, but some toughness to the tannin needs to be resolved. It had just been fined, so perhaps it had not yet fully recovered. It is certainly an outstanding Haut-Brion, but at this stage, I would rank it behind such prodigious classics as the 2000, 1998, 1995, 1990, and 1989. It will be slow to evolve. Anticipated maturity: 2010ndash;2025+.
This is incredible on the nose, showing coffee cake, blackberry, floral, coffee bean and vanilla bean, with Chinese spices. A very complex, full-bodied red, with seamless, hyperpolished tannins that caress every millimeter of the palate. Lasts for minutes. So beautifully balanced, Irsquo;m left speechless. Is it even better than the 1989? Best after 2017.
Food Pairings for Chateau Haut Brion Blanc Premier Cru Classe Weingut Emmerich Knoll
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