Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan 1989 750ML ($1699.95) Buy Now: $1299 special
A wine of firsts. Haut Brion was Bordeaux’s original grand vin: the first Bordeaux to be grown, branded, and marketed as a single-estate, château wine; the first to receive written mention as such, in Samuel Pepys’ famous 1663 diary; and the first on the 1855 classification list. Even oenophile/diplomat Thomas Jefferson visited Haut Brion in 1787, to sample and purchase one of his favorite wines. Quality has always remained the passion at this 111-acre estate in Pessac. Arnaud de Pontac, Haut Brion’s 17th-century savior, and president of Bordeaux’s parliament, could afford low yields, new oak, and elimination of moldy grapes and inferior wines. The rest of the Médoc gradually followed suit, creating the classed growths we know today, with wine estates around the world eventually embracing the same pursuit of absolute quality.
Haut Brion long ago established perfection… and then came 1989. Robert Parker calls the ‘89 “immortal” and “a modern-day legend,” while other elite critics agree that this was Bordeaux’s wine of the (excellent) vintage. Considered the most aromatic of the first growths, Haut Brion is also known to age flawlessly. Which means it’s ready for drinking today, or could even wait another decade in bottle. This 100-point wine truly deserves more points! Accolades aside, Haut Brion serves as one of the greatest wonders in the world of fine wine—sure to astonish even the most experienced palate—and it represents the distinguished history of almighty Bordeaux. What a pity we all can’t have a sip. –Daniel