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Haut-Brion Owc 2003

External Review by Prestige Wine & Spirits:

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: 2010–2025+.

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Chateau Haut Brion:
Although by all accounts the vine has been rampant in these parts since at least Roman times, the earliest written mention that our archivist has discovered, citing a parcel of vines being cultivated at Haut-Brion dates back to only 1423. In the early days wines were known by the name of the parishes from whence they came. Later they became known as clarets. In the case of Haut-Brion, under t... Read more
Although by all accounts the vine has been rampant in these parts since at least Roman times, the earliest written mention that our archivist has discovered, citing a parcel of vines being cultivated at Haut-Brion dates back to only 1423. In the early days wines were known by the name of the parishes from whence they came. Later they became known as clarets. In the case of Haut-Brion, under the great stewardship of the Pontac family the wine's reputation was for years represented by the name of this enlightened and well respected family-- Pontac wine. Eventually as its renown grew, the name of the Estate came to replace that of its owners. The notion of a Great Growth was born! We find the first written mention of the wine in the Diaries of Samuel Pepys. While visiting the Royal Oak Tavern in London on April 10, 1663 Pepys wrote "There I drank a sort of French wine called Ho-Bryan (sic) which hath a good and most particular taste which I never before encountered....." Read less

External Reviews for Haut-Brion Owc

External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
03/26/2013

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: 2010–2025+.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

The 2000 Haut-Brion (a blend of 51% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc) showed incredibly at the tasting, and for me is one of the three or four most prodigious wines of the vintage. A compelling nose of roasted herbs, scorched earth, sweet blueberries, plums, black currants, and a hint of graphite is followed by a deep, layered, sumptuously textured, full-bodied Haut-Brion, but one with extraordinary complexity. This wine seems more evolved and approachable than I had expected it to be at age 10. My window of maturity seven years ago was 2012ndash;2040, but I would change that to 2010ndash;2050.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Very good deep red-ruby. Sweet, highly expressive aromas of redcurrant, hot stones, roasted plum, woodsmoke and tobacco. Fuller and more textured in the middle palate, with a chewy, tactile mouth feel that suggests strong extract and a wonderfully pliant texture. A firm mineral underpinning and sound acids frame the fruit. Expansive and seductively sweet in the mouth. Finishes very long and ripe, with thoroughly civilized tannins.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

As reported over the last two years, this is a prodigious Haut-Brion. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a tight, but incredibly promising nose of smoke, earth, minerals, lead pencil, black currants, cherries, and spice. This full-bodied wine unfolds slowly, but convincingly on the palate, revealing a rich, multi-tiered, stunningly pure, symmetrical style with wonderful sweetness, ripe tannin, and a finish that lasts for nearly 45 seconds. It tastes like liquid nobility. Anticipated maturity: 2008ndash;2035.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

An Haut-Brion with lots of finesse. Beautiful tobacco, berry, cedar and plum aromas in this one. Full-bodied, yet very fine and reserved, with silky tannins and a medium finish. I still prefer the 1998 HB, but this is very, very fine indeed. Best after 2010.


External Review
Source: Millesima USA LLC
10/15/2009

The 2003 offers a lush, controlled richeness of fruit and tannins. The wine is silky and smooth, filling the mouth and coating the palate. Remarkably, the wine exhibits a highly discernible, smooth and ripe fruitiness, while maintaining impeccable balance and freshness. Robert Parker 95.


External Review
09/15/2009

Complex aromas of black licorice, tobacco and cedar with red fruits. Full-bodied, with superseductive, silky tannins, loads of fruit and a finish that lasts for minutes. A beauty in all the sense of the word.


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