5 of the interview with
Château Haut Brion
would you describe Haut-Brion to somebody who never had the
chance to taste it before?
word that comes to my mind is: complexity.
Actually it is a difficult question. It is hazardous. A wine
is only a wine. The best way is to taste it. Sometimes, words
are not enough. They cannot describe all the characteristics
and all the aromas. I would say Mission Haut-Bion is a complete
wine while Haut-Brion is a complex wine.
Honestly, I have to say that Haut-Brion is not an easy wine.
You need a knowledge base to fully appreciate this wine. I
would not advise Haut-Brion to someone who is just starting
to taste wine. You need a kind of training with more easy
to drink wines first.
We know that 2003 Winter was difficult, Spring and
Summer of 2004 were fine and September very good. What can
you say today about the 2004 vintage?
three quite difficult years one after another. In 2002 there
were many coulures (falling of vine flowers causing a loss
of crop). We needed to make a very strict grape selection.
In 2003 because of the heat wave, we worked very hard in August.
We had to harvest the grapes in August in order to keep a
little bit of freshness.
In 2004, harvest took place later. Compare to 2003, it was
necessary to be patient, it was necessary to wait. We are
very optimistic. The wine is very rich in color, very tannic,
very ripe. 2004 is certainly very good, between very good
About the 2003 vintage, is it true that Haut-Brion
suffered more from the heat wave than Latour for example?
terroirs, in the right bank and Pessac Léognan suffered
more than the late ones. The key to success for the early
ones was not to be taken by surprise but to instinctively
harvest the grapes early. I came back from vacation on the
5th of August and we started to harvest the white grapes on
the 13th. It is true that some wine growers were taken by
surprise. They lost balance and freshness and produced an
You also produce a white wine, in limited quantity.
It is a very interesting wine. Would you please describe it?
two grape varieties: Sémillon (60 %) and Sauvignon
Blanc (40 %). From its structure, it looks like a Burgundy's
Chardonnay, although they are of course two different things.
It has the aromatic range of a Sauternes, thanks to the Sémillon,
with flavors of honey and acacia. It is a very rich wine,
long enough and greedy. It is a wine I am very happy with.
It has a great potential. This wine can age well. I only regret
that they are so few for our customers. We produce only 600
to 700 cases per year.
Is it possible to visit Chateau Haut-Brion?
visit Haut-Brion on request and you need to take an appointment
We will show you our winery. We will explain to you our philosophy
behind the wine. And at the end of the tour, you can taste
a wine to understand what we mean with our philosophy. It
is all free.
We enjoy to show what a wine is and specially what is Haut-Brion.
We make wine so that you drink it with friends around a table.
A wine is convivial and festive. We like to share that with
Jean Philippe Delmas, Chateau Haut-Brion
to the beginning of the interview with Jean-Philippe
Delmas, Chateau Haut-Brion