Before swirling, the nose already reveals both fresh and spicy notes. Swirling the wine confirms good ripeness of the grapes, with no excess.
The first taste is incredibly tightly-knit and precise. Straight away the wine is assertive, with instant presence. The development is never forceful, but what presence on the palate! The tactile sensations are completed by the taste, the flavours. The tannins are well-rounded, refined, juicy. Excellent length, even when the wine is no longer in the mouth. The musical score com- posed by the three grape varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, is incredibly accurate and harmonious.
Winter, then springtime 2020 were mild and wet, with a very early start to the vine’s growth cycle and budburst beginning on 17th February. This was the third earliest year in living memory at Château Haut-Brion. During spring, it was essential to pay very close attention to the vines. Flowering was early too. In summer, the heat and drought slowed down the vine’s growth and this enabled a slow ripening of the grapes, which were perfectly healthy at harvesting time. All these weather events created ideal conditions for making wines that are concentrated and fresh all at the same time.
On 20th August, harvests of white grapes began in the scorching sunshine. On arrival at the vat house, the grapes were cooled down to a temperature of around ten degrees by passing them through a cooling tunnel, so as to protect the fruit and the aromas as much as possible. At the end of the harvest of the Sémillon and Sauvignon grapes, unusually, we had to wait a week before starting to pick the reds, in order to wait for the grapes to reach a perfect stage of ripeness. This break enabled us to tranquilly finish moving the whites into barrels. Patience paid off, because the three red grape varieties harvested were of remarkable quality, in particular the Cabernet Franc, which withstood the heatwave very well, thanks to reserves of water accumulated in the soils during springtime. Gentle extraction that was considerate to the grapes was key for enabling a full expression of all the quality and potential of this raw material. Merlot brings fleshiness, while Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure to the wine and Cabernet Franc completely embodies the ethos of Château Haut-Brion 2020.
The colour of this Château Haut-Brion is a dark, radiant red.