Château Haut-Brion 1975
Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France
Tasted at Haut-Brion with Jean-Bernard Delmas, who was making the wine in 1975. This has walnut-edged tones to the colour, and is surprisingly dark. The nose is fragrant, violet-laced, full of classic Haut-Brion markers of leather, tobacco, woodsmoke, saffron, with subtle smoky edge of grilled fig jam. Unlike many estate owners in the 1970s, at Haut-Brion the American Dillon family was continuing to invest, and there were plenty of new oak barrels being used in the ageing. Stainless steel vats in the cellar, preserving fruit aromatics during vinification. And another difference here – where malolactic fermentation was just getting established at many Médoc estates, Haut-Brion had been regularly practicing this softening secondary fermentation since 1962. The estate’s proximity and close relations with the school of oenology and Emile Peynaud will have played its part here. Harvest lasted from September 25th to October 8th. Delmas said this was tasting ‘infinitely better than 10 years ago’. A silky, caressing and terribly charming wine.
Taster: Jane Anson
Price: £280 Fine and Rare
Drink: Now – 2023