Vinous – 95
This 1995 Haut-Brion was served blind during the summer at a private dinner in Bordeaux, a bottle with perfect provenance. It is a vintage that I have drunk several times, but not since 2013. Deep in colour, the 1995 has plenty of black fruit on the nose, displaying a distinctive briny influence, classic in style with stunning definition. There is something regal about the aromatics. The palate is well-balanced, with fine acidity and black fruit once again, sappy and saline, with an underlying ash-like note emerging as it opens in the glass. Though quite linear towards the tobacco and sous-bois finish, the 1995 conspicuously gains weight and breeding with time. Therefore, I would afford this First Growth four to five hours of decanting as it remains more backward than I imagined.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2045
Robert Parker – 95
Tasted at Christies’ Boardroom dinner from an ex-chateau bottle. The 1995 Haut Brion has a gorgeous bouquet: less opulent than the bottle encountered in March 2011, here offering a more sedate, but somehow “languid” bouquet of tertiary black fruit, cigar box and autumn leaves that are all beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, open for business with fine tension shimmering throughout. It does not quite possess the breeding or clinical focus of the 1996, but it is a generous Haut-Brion, rounded in texture with Morels and tobacco lining the finish. I would broach bottles of the 1995 before reaching for the 1996. Drink now-2025. Tasted November 2013.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2025
JancisRobinson.com – 18.5
Just lovely wine, and the only one that was not dominated by a single variety, being a Cabernet/Merlot blend. Excellent lustrous, nuanced ruby.. Clearly a very fine mature wine. Strong liquorice notes (Haut-Brion ‘warm bricks’ earthiness?) For a second I wondered if it was a 1998 Hermitage. Very complex. Spread across the palate. My guess is that no one dared guess it was a first growth but we were looking for appreciation in the comments box…
Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030