The 2018 Haut-Brion is an infant, but its balance and potential are both amply evident. Rich and deep in the glass, the 2018 opens to reveal tremendous complexity and nuance, qualities that only grow with time. The 2018 is not a huge Haut-Brion, nor is it massively endowed, but it is so elegant and classy. I loved it.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2058
Robert Parker 100
The 2018 Haut-Brion is composed of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, the wine needs a lot of swirling before it begins to release a whole complex melody of notes, one at a time to begin: tilled earth, followed by pronounced licorice, then crushed rocks, then the preserved plums. Eventually, it all comes together into a fascinating crescendo of intense creme de cassis, rose oil, wild blueberries and kirsch notes, giving way to quiet, persistent leitmotif scents of cinnamon stick, truffles and redcurrant jelly. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers all this and more, revealing tightly wound black fruit, red berry and exotic spice layers within a solid, wonderfully plush frame and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length and loads of earth and mineral sparks. This is a profound, highly intellectual, multilayered baby, which will require a good 7-8 years to begin to sing its incredible song, then should cellar a further 40 years at least. By way of reference, think 1989 with more restraint and even greater purity.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2068