TN: Haut-Brion, Cheval Blanc & Latour

Celebrating the annual trifecta of my parents birthdays and anniversary on three consecutive days got a little boost from my dad’s 75th birthday. We ended up pulling out all the stops with three top Bordeaux. Each was distinctive, and each was excellent in its own way.

1966 Haut-Brion
Decanted off of its very fine sediment two hours in advance, and then covered to prevent excessive air, this showed fully evolved, with minimal to no tannin, subtle red fruit, iron-rich minerality, tobacco and cedar tones. The overall palate depth was excellent, and the finish had good balance, with no holes anywhere. It was pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be.

2008 Cheval Blanc
Closer to three hours of air for this one (we drank the wines in sequence, rather than having multiple glasses on the crowded table), and while it was still young and tight, the aromatic beauty of Cheval Blanc was still on display. Flowers, fresh air on a spring day, red fruit, and a hint of cocoa powder mixed with vanilla made a complex and alluring scent. I just kept going back to the glass to take another sniff. On the palate it was less showy, but not tough. The fruit was present, and the finish went on for as long as anyone could wait before taking another sip. I wish I had more, but it was lovely to experience this one.

2001 Latour
We finished up with the wine that was the broadest, and while still very young, had the most to give. Darker in fruit and disposition than either the Haut-Brion or the Cheval Blanc, the Latour also showed more tannin, as well as more mid-palate and finishing richness. It also benefited from the most air, and continued to open up over the time we spent with it. Would another five to seven years been beneficial? Of course. Was it an enjoyable and memorable experience? Definitely!

Nice man. Great notes on great wines opened for great reasons.

Awesome. Someone told me your dad loved the celebration. champagne.gif

I don’t mean to spoil the enthusiasm here but 2001 Latours are for the most part out of favor these days.


kidding aside… great line up, and nice notes! thanks for sharing.

Smart money was buying the 2001 Latour back then when under the shadows of 2000 hype it was considerably less expensive.

Great wines and notes.

Wish I had bought more.

Very good thing.

Well done!


Yup, bought 6 of them for US$120 each. [cheers.gif]


In retrospect, 2001 1sts were a steal. Bought all five. Margaux is the laggard as of now.