The 2003 Chateau Haut-Brion was an excellent vintage which has matured to its peak. It can be drunk immediately, but would not suffer from a few more years cellaring.
Haut Brion is the only first growth Bordeaux estate in the Graves region, it is also the oldest of these first growths. Wines from this estate have been famously enjoyed by King Charles II of England, and the diarist Samuel Pepys who wrote "Drank a sort of French wine called Ho Bryen that hath a good and most particular taste I never met with". Thomas Jefferson, whom would later become President of the United States of America, also listed Haut Brion as among the four finest estates in Bordeaux.
Chateau Haut Brion carries 48.35 hectares of vineyards planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
Clearly the best wine made in the Haut-Brion stable in 2003 (the last vintage of the great Jean-Bernard Delmas as administrator), the 2003 Haut-Brion is a blend of 58% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc that hit 13% natural alcohol, which seemed high at the time, but given more recent vintages is modest. Dark ruby/plum in color, with no amber or orange at the edge, the wine exhibits an abundance of roasted herbs, hot rocks, black currants, plum, and balsamic notes. Quite rich, medium to full-bodied and more complete, with sweeter tannins than La Mission Haut-Brion, this full-bodied Haut-Brion has hit full maturity, where it should stay for at least a decade. Bravo!
58% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc. Impressively svelte black fruit. Dense, still youthful nose. Exercises pleasant restraint, although there is some baked character on the finish.
A VERY GOOD YEAR
The harvest had shown high sugar levels. Tannic richness is vast, reaching record levels in the Merlots and above all the Cabernets. The lush tannins are also extremely ripe. They are copious, silky, and smooth, filling the mouth and coating the palate with delight. Strangely, the crispness of the fruit usually fades in such conditions. Nothing could be further from the truth in 2003. The wine has retained a highly discernible, smooth and ripe fruitiness, while staying very crisp.
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As a rough guide most standard (75CL) single bottles weigh 2KG and a case (12 x 75CL bottles) weighs 24KG.
In Bond storage is facilitated at Octavian in Wiltshire, the U.K's premier wine storage facility. The conditions at this old munitions base, 100 metres below ground are unrivalled, offering temperature control, In Bond facility and full replacement value insurance. The wines are stored under each client's individual "Protection Plus" account number, fully labelled and can only be released or moved with his or her written instructions. No right of lien can be exercised over wines held on each client's behalf. Client's stock can be inspected, by arrangement, at any time excluding November & December.
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Items can be ordered In Bond for transfer to clients own bonded storage accounts. We are able to action this process for a single consignment charge of £10 ex VAT, this covers any quantity.