Chateau Haut-Brion 1990

Review of the Estate

Château Haut-Brion is notable for its First Growth status, under both the 1855 and 1973 Médoc classifications, despite its geographical location in Graves. This mark of respect is due to the obsession with quality and continual winemaking improvements that have been the dominant modus operandi at Chateau Haut Brion over the past four centuries.

The modern estate grew from humble origins as a property known as Maison Noble d'Aubrion which was acquired by Jean de Pontac through his marriage to Jeanne de Bellon in 1525.

Pontac was responsible for expanding Chateau Haut-Brion, and creating an international market for the wines, the quality of which was noted by Samuel Pepys who wrote in April 1663,"here I drank a sort of French wine, called Ho Bryan, that hath a good and most particular taste that I never met with." However, Chateau Haut Brion was still known formally as Château Pontac until the late 18th Century when it eventually passed out of the Pontac family’s hands.

As the first recorded First Growth to be imported into the United States, when Thomas Jefferson purchased six cases during his travels and sent them back to his home in Virginia, it is perhaps unsurprising that Chateau Haut-Brion was eventually purchased by an American. After a string of owners, financier Clarence Dillon acquired the estate in 1935. Chateau Haut Brion is currently owned by Domaine Clarence Dillon, which is a limited company and thereby prevents excessive divisions of the estate between successive generations. Presently, Prince Robert of Luxembourg is at the helm, with Jean-Philippe Delmas managing the viticultural aspects of the business.

As a First Growth, there is constant pressure to produce outstanding yet consistent wines and Château Haut-Brion has consistently embraced new technologies to meet this standard. In the 1960s, the estate pioneered the installation of stainless steel vats – the first of the First Growths to do so. This increased the reliability of the vinification process and positioned Chateau Haut Brion at the forefront of innovation in the Bordeaux region, producing a savoury wine which is both rich and intricate.

 

Vineyard

Surface area: 106.7 acres

Grape Varieties: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc

Average age of vines: 36 years

Density of plantation: 8,00 vines per hectare

Average yields: 35-45 hectoliters per hectare

Average cases produced: 11,000 per year

Plateau of maturity: 10 - 40 years

 

 

Chateau Haut Brion

 

 

Chateau Haut Brion Bottles

 

 

Chateau Haut Brion

Chateau Haut Brion Label

Robert Parker Haut-Brion 1990 Review

Score: 98 Points

In terms of the brilliant complexity and nobility of the aromatics, scorched earth, black currants, plums, charcoal, cedar, and spices, the 1990 offers an aromatic explosion that is unparalleled. It is always fascinating to taste this wine next to the 1989, which is a monumental effort, but much more backward and denser, without the aromatic complexity of the 1990. The 1990 put on weight after bottling, and is currently rich, full-bodied, opulent, even flamboyant by Haut Brion's standards. It is an incredible expression of a noble terroir in a top vintage. While it has been fully mature for a number of years, it does not reveal any bricking at the edge, and I suspect it will stay at this level for another 10-15 years ... but why wait? It is irresistible now.

Score: 98

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (183), June 2009

 

Chateau Haut-Brion 1990 Recent Price History

Prices below are sourced from wine-searcher.com 

WineVintageJuly 2008 
Value Per Case
July 2013 
Value Per Case
Value Increase Percentage 
Increase
Haut Brion 1990 £5,952 £6,024 £72 1.21%

Chateau Haut Brion Wine List

Haut Brion 1990 Haut Brion 1991 Haut Brion 1992
Haut Brion 1993 Haut Brion 1994 Haut Brion 1995
Haut Brion 1996 Haut Brion 1997 Haut Brion 1998
Haut Brion 1999 Haut Brion 2000 Haut Brion 2001
Haut Brion 2002 Haut Brion 2003 Haut Brion 2004
Haut Brion 2005 Haut Brion 2006 Haut Brion 2007
Haut Brion 2008 Haut Brion 2009 Haut Brion 2010
Haut Brion 2011    

 

Bordeaux Investment Wines - Chateau Haut Brion 1990 Review

eXTReMe Tracker