Chateau Haut Brion 1987

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Chateau Haut Brion

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€ 195,00

Chateau Haut Brion 1987

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" Exceptionally well stored since acquisition upon release ($420 a case on sale at Sams as I recall) An extra two points for being an incredible success for the vintage. Cigar boxy Haut Brion, but lacks in my mind that the mid palate rich fruit almost sweet intensity that sets apart the great Haut Brions. Worked many times though all the Haut Brion vintages from 1964 (still a knockout) through the mid 90's, and I think this is easily the best "off vintage" wine they produced over that period."  95 points


Chateau Haut-Brion has one of the longest and most interesting histories of any Bordeaux wine chateau. The property derives its name from an ancient Celtic term “Briga.” Loosely translated, this means a rise or mount in the land. This unique terroir was prized for growing grapes to produce Bordeaux wine close to 600 years ago!

Documents are available showing that Johanna Faure grew vines at Haut Mont near Haut-Brion. These ancient records are dated September 6, 1426! This was for a local chapel that was founded in Bordeaux by the Menuts Monks to remember the recently deceased Johan d’Artiguemale.

A little more than a century later, April 23, 1525 to be exact, Jeanne de Bellon, the daughter of the Mayor of Libourne was to be married. Like many wealthy women of the time, she came with dowry. This dowry consisted of Bordeaux wine property from Pessac Leognan called Haut Brion. Once the couple was married, her husband, Jean de Pontac bought the mansion of Haut-Brion from Jean Duhalde in 1533, for the sum of 2,650 Tournois pounds. This was the official birth of one of the most famous Bordeaux wine estates, Château Haut-Brion. 16 years later, in 1549, Jean de Pontac began constructing a new and much more imposing chateau on the gounds of what would become Chateau Haut Brion.

Moving forward about one hundred years, official records for the wine cellar ledger of English king Charles II state, in 1660 and 1661, at least 169 bottles of the wine of Hobriono were poured for royal guests.

The first reference to the wine of Chateau Haut Brion is now considered the first official review of any wine was of Chateau Haut Brion. April 10, 1663 Samuel Pepys (The Robert Parker of his day) wrote the following tasting note after tasting the Bordeaux wine at London’s Royal Oak Tavern, “There I drank a sort of French wine called Ho-Bryan that hath a good and most particular taste I never met with.” On that day Chateau Haut Brion entered the history books as being the world’s first wine to have a professional review. In 1666, the owner of Chateau Haut Brion opened a tavern in England for the express purpose of selling and promoting their wines. They were the first Bordeaux chateau to being promoting outside of their appellation.

Haut Brion Cork Chateau Haut Brion Graves Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Wine

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States traveled to Bordeaux in 1787 as America’s French ambassador. Thomas Jefferson was quite familiar with the quality of wines from Bordeaux. Thomas Jefferson was received at Chateau Haut Brion on May 25, 1787. After his visit, Jefferson wrote, “The soil of Haut-Brion, which I examined in great detail, is made up of sand, in which there is near as much round gravel or small stone and a very little loam like the soils of the Medoc. In the category of red wines,” he wrote, “there are four vineyards of prime quality:

1. Château Margaux, belonging to the Marquis d’Argicourt, who produces around 150 barrels that were sold by contract to a merchant named Jernon.

2. La Tour Ségur, (Chateau Latour ) in Saint-Lambert, belonging to Mister de Miromesnil, who produces 125 barrels.

3. Haut-Brion, two-thirds of which belong to the Count de Fumel who sold the harvest to a merchant called Barton. The other third belongs to the Count of Toulouse; in all, the château produces 75 barrels.

4. Château de la Fite, Chateau Lafite Rothschild) belonging to President Pichard of Bordeaux, which produces 175 barrels”.

Thomas Jefferson, the eventual President of the United States, had already discovered the four best Bordeaux wines of the day.Similar to what would take place in the official Classification, Jefferson created his own list of what would become First Growths and interestingly, it was exactly the same a the list drawn up almost 75 years later with the official 1855 classification.

Chateau Haut-Brion sold to Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince of Benevento in 1801. Talleyrand did not stay at Haut-Brion often, preferring to spend time on his duties as Minister of Foreign Affairs to Emperor Napoleon I. In 1836, once again, Chateau Haut Brion was sold, only this time it was an auction. The buyer was a banker from Paris, Joseph-Eugène Larrieu. At this time, the Bordeaux wine of Chateau Haut-Brion wine was widely sold in the United States. New Orleans, with its French influence was a popular market for the wine of Chateau Haut Brion.

A great piece of history regarding the Bordeaux wine trade in the 19th century is contained in a letter dated April 6, 1850, written to Joseph-Eugène Larrieu from a Mr. Loreilhe. Loreihle was an American wine merchant. In the letter he complained that he did not receive enough cases of Chateau Haut Brion to satisfy his customers from last year. The letter adds comments that even at that time, the Bordeaux wine of Chateau Haut-Brion was packaged with the greatest of care, “labels and capsules bearing your name, which is also branded onto the cork as well as a glass seal on the bottle’s neck”.

In 1855, Château Haut Brion was awarded Premier Grand Cru status. Chateau Haut Brion is the only 1855 First Growth wine not located in the Medoc. In fact, Chateau Haut Brion is the only Bordeaux chateaux not located in the Medoc. That is how special the wines of Chateau Haut Brion were considered. Only Lafite, Latour and Margaux were considered in the same class. Mouton did not become a First Growth until 1973. Amédée Larrieu, son of Joseph-Eugène, took over the management of the property starting in 1859. The property remained in the Larrieu family until 1922.

1935 began a new era for Chateau Haut-Brion. In this period of crisis, the mood was one of astonishment when one of New York’s major financiers, Clarence Dillon, declared his interest in a French vineyard, buying it on the 13th of May 1935. In 1979 at the age of 96, Dillon passed away. He was almost the same age as the founder of Haut Brion, Jean de Pontac. In 1953, his son, C. Douglas Dillon, was appointed ambassador of the United States in Paris during General Eisenhower’s presidency. He went on to become Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs, then served as Secretary of the Treasury for John F. Kennedy. At the end of his tenure in Paris, his daughter, Joan, remained in France. In 1967, Joan Dillon married His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Luxembourg, Prince of Nassau, Prince of Bourbon-Parme and a direct descendant of Henri IV. In 1975, the Princess, Clarence Dillon’s grand-daughter, succeeded her cousin Seymour Weller as the head of the chateau.

After the death of Prince Charles of Luxembourg, in 1978 Princess Joan married the Duke de Mouchy. The Duke de Mouchy joined the Management of Domaine Clarence Dillon alongside the Duchess, before retiring in 2003. Today, the continuity and presence of the Dillon family are ensured, for the next generation, by Prince Robert of Luxembourg who took over managing all the properties of Haut Brion in 2008.

The 48 hectare vineyard of Chateau Haut Brion is planted on deep gravely soil over clay and sand with a wide variety of minerals and quartz. The vines are maintained at an average age of 36 years. For the red wine of Chateau Haut Brion, the vineyard is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9. Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, pruned to the double Guyot method and with a vine density of 10,000 vines per hectare.

The white wine varietals of Chateau Haut Brion cover only 6.7 acres of vineyard land. For the production of Chateau Haut Brion Blanc, the vineyard is planted to 63% Semillon and 37% Sauvignon Blanc, although there is a small quantity of Sauvignon Gris planted in the vineyard as well. Very little Haut Brion Blanc is produced each year. In fact, the production is so small, when the wines of Graves were classified, Haut Brion requested their wine be removed from the classification. Today, on average, close to 600 cases of Haut Brion Blanc are produced each year.

The wine of Chateau Haut Brion is vinified in unique, double skinned, stainless steel vats, Interestingly, Chateau Haut Brion was one of the first Bordeaux chateau to begin using stainless steel for vinification. This took place in 1961. The double skinned, stainless steel vats were first introduced at Chateau Haut Brion in 1991. The wine is aged in up to 100% new, French oak for as long as 24 months, depending on the strength and character of the vintage.

Producent Chateau Haut Brion
Jaar 1987
Appellation Graves
Climat Nee
Flesgrootte 0,75 L
Aantal flessen 1
Conditie Nee
Waardering Nee