Very good medium red. Redcurrant, plum and tobacco aromas show a somewhat cool, primary quality. Dense and still rather youthfully tight in the mouth; offers a supple texture but comes across as distinctly less sweet than these other vintages of La Mission. Tannins are lively and harmonious, but the finish shows the dry edge that characterizes the 1975 vintage. Still developing. Drink now through 2030. 93+
It had been years and years since I last tasted the ’75 Haut Brion, and I was amazed at how this once rather gangly and pinched wine had blossomed. Today it is a terrific, albeit slightly idiosyncratic Haut Brion, and probably offers about as fine a value as one can find on the market these days for older vintages of this fine château. The bouquet is deep and complex, as it offers up notes of plum, a touch of black raspberry, sweet Cuban tobacco, plenty of brick dust, orange zest and a classic base of dusty, dry Graves soil tones. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, tangy and beautifully complex, with fine mid-palate depth, modest, though still slightly uncovered tannins, and lovely length and grip. The awkwardness of youth still shows a tad in the ’75 Haut Brion with extended aeration, but I happily trade the slightly angular personality of the ’75 (in the supremely elegant context of Haut Brion) on the palate for the aromatic fireworks and the great complexity of this wine. Classy juice and a real sleeper vintage of Haut Brion. (Drink between 2007-2025)
The Château Haut-Brion 1975 has been variable in the past, however this is one of the better examples with deep garnet color. The nose is lively with leather and scorched earth scents infusing the dusky black fruit, later a faint touch of terracotta coming through. The palate is well balanced, quite animally and feral for a respectable First Growth, but that is exactly what lends it its charm. There is just some dryness creeping in on the finish, so I would drink bottles over the next ten years or so. (NM)
Austere, lean and polished, not exhibiting the hard edge shown by many 1975s, this is ultimately elegant, graceful and supple. (HS)
The label says Graves even though of course it is now Pessac-Léognan. This was served blind alongside its stablemate La Tour Haut-Brion. It was a remarkable combination of right-bank richness but finished with left-bank dryness, which led me to suspect a wine from the Haut-Brion stable, although it had none of the 'warm bricks' of Ch Haut-Brion itself. In fact it was a marvel of concentration - particularly at 40 years of age. The nose was extraordinarily rich with a strong hint of chestnuts. Amazing concentration and richness but still with a firm, dry finish. I could imagine this was quite a tough brute in its youth but it has come round now. Patience rewarded. 18/20
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