The 2012 Haut Brion (65% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc) is certainly one of the candidates for the wine of the vintage, with a dense purple color, classic nose of crushed rock, lead pencil shavings, black raspberry, blueberry and flowers. The wine shows subtle barbecue smoke notes in the background, but is full-bodied, stunningly concentrated and builds incrementally, yet finishes with luxurious, almost extravagant amounts of fruit and intensity. From only 46% of the production, this is an absolutely remarkable effort from the Dillon family and their winemaking team of the two Jean-Philippes. Drink it over the next 30-40 years. (RP)
A big, powerful wine, the 2012 Haut-Brion possesses stunning richness and intensity, with all of the depth that is lacking in so many other wines in this vintage. Not here. The 2012 possesses remarkable depth and tons of raw, animal power that is going to require considerable time in bottle to soften. Readers should be in no rush; the 2012 Haut-Brion is a wine for the ages. Smoke, graphite, dried herbs and blue/purplish stone fruits grace the exotic, alluring finish. (AG)
Amazing aromas of wet stones, earth, currants and berries. Subtle and complex. Full body and a beautiful core of ripe fruit on the palate and the finish. Round, light, chewy tannins. Needs at least four or five years to open. This is the most Merlot ever in Haut-Brion. Rich too. One of the wines of the vintage. 65.5% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Better in 2020.
Firm and solid, this is one of the successes of 2012. It’s properly dark and tough at this stage, with that serious intent that’s a hallmark of Haut-Brion. Layers of firm tannins are interspersed with blackberry fruits and juicy acidity. The wine is dense and concentrated, with the wood aging still showing. This powerful wine will need many years. Drink from 2024. *Cellar Selection* (RV)
This combines power and refinement, with a singed alder frame around a dense core of red and black currant, plum and blackberry fruit. Notes of bay, black tea and tar line the finish. Has a lovely, fine-grained feel that lets the dark, hefty fruit drape beautifully. The tobacco element hangs in the background. Sneakily long. Best from 2018 through 2030. (JM)
Dense velvety red, rich earthy black fruits on the nose, both lively and smooth, terrific class is there with the ripe Haut-Brion tannins that give a subtle grip to the very polished, Merlot-dominated fruit. 18.5/20 points. (SS)
Tasted blind. Dark ruby – relatively pale. Very light and restrained on the nose. Then dense and fully ripe, almost concentrated. Such density with an edge of florality. Good mouthful and almost approachable already. Luminous. Good freshness. 18/20 points. (JR)
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