Blended of 51.3% Merlot, 13.1% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.6% Petit Verdot, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion features beautiful rose hip tea, fallen leaves and black olives scents over a core of redcurrant jelly, cassis and pencil shavings plus touches of menthol and pencil lead. Medium-bodied, the palate is finely crafted with delicate red and black fruits laced with loads of earthy accents, framed by grainy tannins and finishing on a lingering mineral note. Drink 2019-2034.
|Score: 93||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim), November 2018|
The 2016 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has an impressive bouquet of vibrant red berry fruit, rose petal and loamy aromas and impressively assimilated oak. The medium-bodied palate offers supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity. Crisp and focused, with a complex finish full of tension and terroir expression. This is another superb Pessac-Léognan. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. 2022 - 2038
|Score: 92||Neal Martin, vinous.com, August 2020|
The 2016 Le Clarence de Haut Brion is a tad more open on the nose compared to the La Chapelle de la Mission, offering red cherries, wild strawberry and just a touch of bergamot tea. The palate is well balanced, with fine-grained tannin framing the black fruit, exhibiting more grip than its La Mission counterpart and more complexity on the lightly spiced, persistent finish. Excellent. Drink 2022-2038.
|Score: 91||Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019|
The 2016 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 51.3% Merlot, 13.1% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.6% Petit Verdot. It has a little more fruité compared to the La Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion, yet not quite the same mineral tension or complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with supple black fruit, a fine line of acidity and gentle grip, but I would be seeking a little more personality and depth towards the finish. That said, it does have commendable freshness, but my money would be on the La Chapelle this year. Drink 2020-2032.
|Score: 89/91||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
This is powerful and intense with lots of minerals, crushed stones and dark fruit. Dense and linear. Minerally and very energetic.
|Score: 94/95||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
The 2016 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a dense, powerful wine. I have no doubt that at other times in Bordeaux's history, the 2016 Clarence could have passed for Grand Vin in terms of its quality. Gravel, woodsmoke, tobacco, incense and dried flowers infuse a core of dark red stone fruits in this powerful, voluptuous second wine from Haut-Brion. This is a tremendous showing.
|Score: 91/94||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Tasted blind. Sweet and fairly ripe. A bit austere on the end. But lots of fruit on the way there.
Drink 2028 – 2042
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020|
Dark crimson. Intense nose that's very Haut-Brion. Fine, restrained and just a bit low key. But very classy fruit and oak. Would give a lot of pleasure quite young.
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
The second wine of Chateau Haut Brion is assembled from the vats that don't suit the final blend of Haut Brion itself. From 2007 onwards it has been known as Le Clarence de Haut-Brion (instead of Bahans Haut Brion), in tribute to Clarence Dillon who purchased Haut Brion in 1934. It is now also bottled in the iconic and distinctive Haut Brion bottle. The 2016 blend is 51.3% Merlot, 13.1% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.6% Petit Verdot. Smoky on the nose with hints of incense, black chocolate and summer pudding. Fresh on the palate with lots of red fruits and hints of black cherry and plum, sweet vanilla and fresh but firm tannins give a classic structure and lifted flavour profile. Quite firm through the finish with lingering sweet vanilla and plum.
|Score: 15.5+||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
The 2016 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is another second wine that tastes more like a grand vin. Made from 51.3% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it too is deeply colored and has a classic Haut Brion bouquet of minerals, crushed rocks, cassis, graphite, and violet. With medium to full-bodied richness, good concentration, building tannins, and impeccable balance, it’s more supple and sexy that it’s big brother yet still has the balance, structure, and depth to keep for two decades. It’s a stunning wine in its own right. 2019 - 2034.
|Score: 95||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2019|
The fruit is concentrated rich the nose has depth and the palate a powerful mix of black fruits. Fresh fruit in the middle lightens balances the richness and brings out the fragrances and although quite firm at the back there is sweet fruit on the finish. 2025-38
|Score: 90/93||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
Made with 31% of the total production at Haut-Brion, this second wine is noticeably lighter and more forward than the Grand Vin. It’s a subtle, refined, scented red with raspberry and black cherry flavours, a hint of dried herbs and good underlying structure. 2022-30
|Score: 93||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
As with La Mission Haut-Brion and La Chapelle, there is a beautiful signature here running from grand vin to second wine, a clear indication of quality. This is a little more intense than La Chapelle, which was pretty and floral, showing a firmer side with cassis and blackberry. A gorgeous, confident wine. It's very hard to think of a vintage where things are so well constructed and yet so soft. Clarence de Haut-Brion represents 31% of production, from a blend of 51.3% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.1% Cabernet Franc and 2.6% Petit Verdot aged in 33% new oak.
Drinking Window 2023 - 2040
|Score: 94||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|