This wine is a superb ruby-red color with purplish highlights. The initially closed-in bouquet opens up nicely on aeration. The wonderfully subtle aromas follow through in quick succession, starting with oaky overtones, followed by red-berry fruit, leading into terroir character: cocoa powder, roasting coffee, and Havana cigars. The initial softness on the palate gradually evolves to reveal the tannic backbone. Despite their dense structure, the tannins are amazingly silky. The overall freshness carries the flavors through into an aftertaste that goes on and on.
99 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Haut-Brion charges out of the gate with exuberant notes of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and baked plums followed by nuances of dark chocolate, licorice and cloves. Full-bodied, the palate has lots of subtle earth and mineral accents with a firm, finely grained texture and great freshness lifting the long finish.
99 Wine Spectator
Sappy, tongue-coating pastis, blackberry coulis and loganberry fruit starts this huge wine off, followed by a parade of licorice snap, violet, tar, black tea, roasted alder, wood spice and steeped black cherry fruit notes. A beam of pure cassis drives through this, and the finish pulls everything together with a mouthwatering brambly edge that should soften slowly over time. A riveting display of brawny power, unbridled energy and high-level terroir. Best from 2020 through 2040.
98 Wine Enthusiast
A firm and serious wine, complex and complicated, one of the finest wines from 2010 vintage. It has a rich undertow of black fruits, while the tannins dominate at this stage. To add to the powerful range of flavors, the wine has an edge of severity that bodes well for its long-term future.
97 James Suckling
This is very spicy with dried mushroom aromas with dark fruits and plum undertones. Sweet tobacco as well. This is full-bodied, with lots of tannins that are chewy and firm. This is muscular for HB and flexing it. Try in 2020.