A somewhat controversial Haut-Brion, this wine reached full maturity at a shockingly fast pace and seems now to be giving signs of cracking up. A very earthy, melted asphalt, creosote-like nose intermixed with compost, decaying autumnal vegetation, and herb-tinged fruit is actually more appealing than it might sound. In the mouth the wine is fleshy, medium-bodied, relatively lush, but the garnet color is showing considerable amber, and the finish starts to dry out after the wine sits in the glass for just a mere five minutes. And of course, I have tasted this wine from pristinely stored bottles, so I suspect those that have been less than perfectly stored are probably already in serious decline. Anticipated maturity: Now. Drink up.
(Bordeaux Book, 4th Edition, The Wine Advocate 1st Jan 2003)