Wine Spectator Review:
Sappy, dense and packed, with layers of kirsch, melted licorice snap, anise and black tea. Just as dense, if not more so, on the finish, with extra tar, violet and blackberry confiture. There's massive grip on the back end, but this is velvety and caressing. Easily the most backward of the first-growths at this stage. Tasted non-blind. Score range 96-99.
Following a harvest that finished on October 10, Haut-Brion produced a 2010 that should turn out to be one of its all-time greats ... an amazing feat given what they have accomplished over recent vintages. A blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc that came in at 14.6% alcohol, the 2010 boasts an opaque purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of scorched earth/burning embers, blueberries, black currant liqueur and crushed rocks. Full and opulent with nobility, finesse, purity and elegance, this amazing effort possesses extraordinary levels of extract as well as formidable, but sweet, well-integrated tannins. It requires 8-10 years of cellaring and should drink well for 50 years.
Deep ruby-purple. Brooding, closed nose hints at strawberry, ripe red cherry, white pepper, minerals and violet showing its cabernet franc element today. Rich and full on entry, displaying lovely depth to its ripe red fruit, underbrush and tobacco flavors. Harmonious acidity keeps this concentrated, dense wine dancing on the palate. Finishes smooth and very long, and still youthfully tight. Another great Haut-Brion, atypically dominated by the cabernet franc presence. I'd venture to say that Haut-Brion is remarkably Lafleur-like this year. One of the stars of the vintage.
Other Notes: A blend of 23% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc, this has a quintessential Haut-Brion nose with that trait of fresh black olives defining the nose straight out of the blocks. It is a little less opulent than La Mission but with slightly better clarity at this stage. The palate displays very fine, succulent tannins and like the La Mission there is a Pauillac-like personality thanks to the graphite imparted by the ripe Cabernet Sauvignon. Wonderful definition towards the finish. This is a superb Haut-Brion. Neal Martin, 96-98 points.