Château Haut Brion is one of the five First Growths of the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. The Château was established in 1533 by Jean de Pontac, who was the first to plant vineyards on this prime gravelly site, found in the Graves sub-region of Pessac Leognan. The Chateau is owned today by Prince Robert of Luxembourg, the great-grandson of Clarence Dillon.
It is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with three hectares planted to the white varieties of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Château Haut Brion is the only property outside of the Medoc in the 1855 classification. A wine of class and breed, Château Haut Brion is typically more approachable in its youth, showing floral perfume and elegance, yet possesses the structure required for exceptional longevity.
A blend of 53% Merlot, 6.3% Cabernet Franc and 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Haut-Brion sashays gracefully out of the glass with fragrant notions of black raspberries, kirsch, dark chocolate, star anise and candied violets with a core of warm red and black currants and a touch of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with red and black fruit layers, superbly supported by firm, ripe, finely grained tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced.
97 points, Wine Advocate (March 2020)
This is extremely aromatic and perfumed with crushed-berry, flower, currant and orange-peel character. Full-bodied, very tight and focused with fabulous depth and density that brings you down through the wine. Deep and serious. Very classic wine that reminds me of top Haut-Brions of the mid-1980s. Try after 2025.
98 points, JamesSuckling.com (January 2020)
The 2017 Haut-Brion is rich and virile, even in a vintage where it has less power than is the norm. My impression is that the 2017 is going to lie dormant for many years before it awakens, but its pedigree is quite obvious. Black cherry, plum, gravel, smoke, licorice and dark spice all burst out of the glass. The 2017 is a powerful, vertical Haut-Brion endowed with a real feeling of gravitas and somber intensity. The long, substantial finish suggests readers can look forward to many years of fine drinking.
96+ points, Vinous (March 2020)
The 2017 Haut-Brion was bottled 10-18 June. It impressed from barrel and it continues to do so now incarcerated in glass. It has an irresistible bouquet with ebullient red berry fruit, sous-bois, graphite and oyster shell, perhaps one of the most Burgundy-like aromatics that I can recall in this First Growth. The palate is beautifully balanced with very fine tannins. There remains a little new oak to be fully assimilated, yet winemaker Jean-Philippe Delmas has managed to retain the symmetry that I observed from barrel a few months ago. Whilst not amongst the top tier Haut-Brion wines, it is a delicious and classy wine that will give three decades of drinking pleasure.
95 points, Vinous (February 2020)
A more structured, straight, focused wine than the La Mission Haut-Brion, the 2017 Chateau Haut-Brion is based on a similar blend of 53% Merlot, 40.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6.3% Cabernet Franc brought up in 69% new French oak. Plenty of cassis and red currant fruits as well as notes of tobacco, Asian spices, cedar pencil, and violets all emerge from this medium-bodied, elegant, nicely textured, and concentrated Haut-Brion. It's very much in the classic, sleek style of the vintage and has good acidity, plenty of polished tannins, and a great finish, yet not a massive amount of flesh or baby fat. This classic effort needs 7-8 years of bottle age and will have 30+ years of longevity.
93+ points, JebDunnuck.com (February 2020)
Features red and black currant fruit flavors, laced with bramble, apple wood and anise notes, backed by a powerfully rendered finish. Despite the heft and density, this comes off as refined, with streamlined tannins, buried acidity and a long finish of incense and red tea elements. Not as dense and backward as the top years, but still exhibits pedigree. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2024 through 2040.
96 points, Wine Spectator (March 2020)
This perfumed wine shines with black fruits. Against this, the wine's tannins are solid and firm, promising long-term aging. The wine's structure—black fruits against tannins—is a classic for this estate. Drink from 2024.
96 points, Wine Enthusiast (March 2020)