The 2006 Haut-Brion performed even better from bottle than it did from barrel. Sixty-four percent of the production went into this wine, and while it displays the vintage's powerful tannins and structure, it possesses superb concentration, and the minerality/scorched earth notes of a great Haut-Brion. Medium to full-bodied, with perhaps not quite the fleshiness of the 2005 or 2000, it is built more along the lines of the 1998 and 1996. It is a brilliant effort displaying sensational purity, texture, and length that should be exceptionally long-lived. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035 .
The 2006 Château Haut-Brion has a more ostentatious bouquet than the comparatively reserved La Mission: quite feisty blackberry, briary, kirsch and red plum scents, hints of leather and sage tucked just underneath. This is a bouquet determined to make an impression! The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity, a gentle build to a concentrated, earthy, truffle-tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. This seems to have the upper-hand over the La Mission and probably has a longer future. A thoroughbred from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. Drink 2018-2045.
Captivating aromas of coffee, spice, violets and cedar follow through to a full-bodied palate, with refined tannins and a long finish. Lovely refinement for the vintage.
57 Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. The grand vin represents 59% of total production.
Firm deep crimson. Complex rather hidden nose - savoury and embryonic, tobacco perhaps. Round and lively - rather charming already on the palate. Lively fresh tannins on the finish and sufficient fruit in the middle to give one confidence to believe that the wine will eventually be well balanced. Certainly pretty inky overall though - the difference between it and La Mission is the fruit weight in the middle. Elegant rather than angular. More solid matter and a little more gravitas and majesty than La Mission.
Medium ruby-red. Inviting aromas of plum, warm stones, red licorice and menthol. Suave, gentle and elegantly styled; distinctly sweeter and lusher today than the La Mission, with even more mid-palate depth. Showing more red fruits today as well, with pungent minerality giving the wine lift and juiciness. Finishes with suave but substantial building tannins. Last year this wine was showing its spine while La Mission was more opulent; in bottle it's the other way around.