Best Buy: Haut-Brion 1999
A few interesting thoughts on one of our most reliable BI lunch clarets of the past year...
Haut-Brion 1999 is arguably the best value drinking Haut-Brion in the market today. It is widely agreed that there are a number of vintages pre-2000 that are drinking beautifully at the moment; however many of these are the real trophy vintages which, whilst approachable, are certainly not at their absolute peak yet (think 1989, 1990, 1996 or 2000) so drinking them now can feel... wasteful, especially considering the premium one pays for them. Haut-Brion 1999 is a wine of immense class and breeding – “a style that only Haut-Brion appears capable of achieving” in the words of Mr. Parker. In addition, it has the great advantage of drinking at its best right now and for the next 5-10 years at least.
In his tasting note, Parker compares the '99 to the '85 – also a 93-point wine, but one which trades at £4600+ per case. As Haut-Brion is the hottest property in Bordeaux right now, and, with the 2015 being our biggest selling wine of the EP campaign by some distance, we are seeing huge global demand for the legendary vintages. We are convinced that the '99 is undervalued by anything up to 10%, and that the combination of above factors will most likely drag up the price of the '99 in the months to come – making it a smart buy right now.
Finally, on a purely emotional note, reading Parker’s tasting note simply makes me want to open a bottle, sit down over a long lunch and watch it evolve...
- Price: £3,873.00
- Pack Size: 12 x 0.75L
- Status: IB
- Quantity: 3
- ETA: Available Now
Tasting Notes and Scores
Deep plum, currant, and mineral notes emerge from the concentrated, beautifully balanced, pure 1999 Haut Brion. It seems to be cut from the same mold as years such as 1979 and 1985. There is a hint of graphite in the abundant fruit. The wine is medium to full-bodied, nuanced, subtle, deep, and provocatively elegant. It is made in a style that only Haut Brion appears capable of achieving. The finish is extremely long, the tannins sweet, and the overall impression one of delicacy interwoven with power and ripeness. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.
93 points – Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #140, April 2002)
The 1999 Haut-Brion is a very fine vintage from the estate, although it is probably overshadowed by the overachieving 1998. This bottle has the sensuality on the nose that I have observed before but is a little more opulent than I recall, yet very delineated with black truffle, cedar and cigar humidor infusing the black fruit. The palate is well balanced with soft, almost velvety tannin. There is a sweet candied core of fruit in situ, laced with orange peel and black cherries. It fans out nicely toward the finish, which is generous rather than complex. Perfect to drink now, though I can envisage this giving another 20 years of drinking pleasure. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the estate.
Delivers cooked berries, with light cream aromas that turn to tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied, featuring big, yet well-integrated tannins and a chewy finish. Needs time still to mellow. Serious.--'89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). James Suckling
Aromas of tobacco, hints of forest floor. Full-bodied, open and flavorful. Herbs and spice. Drink now.
Quality 896 | Brand 998 | Economics 932 |
Quality: Predicted life of 15 years, one of the longest drinking windows in its peer group for the 1999 vintage, which averages 10 years Brand: Strong restaurant presence, featuring on 50 of the world's top wine lists, including Chez Bruce Economics: More traded at auction than its peers, its top 5 vintages having seen 3,255 75cl equivalent bottles traded in the past year Production: Higher production than its peer group average of 92,455 bottles
- www.wine-lister.com June 2017