The 2016 Haut Brion is a blend of 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 19 September and 13 October. Jean-Philippe Delmas told me that this represents a touch more Merlot than last year's vintage. It clearly has a more powerful and intense bouquet compared to the La Mission Haut-Brion, although maybe not the same killer level of detail and delineation. The palate is beautifully balanced with arching tannins that insistently grip the mouth. There are layers of black fruit, minerals, sea salt and a touch of crushed violets. Unlike the 2015 Haut-Brion, this is more linear, stricter and you could argue more nimble on its toes. Yet maybe it does not quite have the same depth and labyrinthine complexity that made the 2015 such an astonishing wine. Nevertheless, this 2016 is not far behind and it will be fascinating to compare in the future. Drink 2026-2070.
|Score: 97/99||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
This is a monument for Haut-Brion and reminds me of the great 1998 but in a modern and bright style. Full-bodied, very tannic and superbly structured yet always agile and vivid. Its energy and dynamic nature grabs you by the shoulder and tells you it’s great. Staggeringly precise. It can’t get better than this, can it?
|Score: 100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
The 2016 Haut-Brion is shaping up to be one of the jewels of the vintage. Towering, powerful and intense, the 2016 is marvelously complete in all of its dimensions. Gravel, bacon fat, black cherry, smoke, leather and licorice are all pushed forward. The 2016 is quite rich, but never heavy. It is especially polished, even understated Haut Brion built more on finesse than power.
|Score: 95/98||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Brooding richness the nose has depth the palate has concentrated black fruits. Sweet in the middle the tannins are fine and integrated supple fleshy rich fruit. At the back fresher fruit gives a lighter feel fragrant stylish but there is sweetness rich fruit on the finish. 2028-48
|Score: 95/98||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
Ambitious, concentrated and built for the long haul, this is a superb Haut-Brion that’s combines density and concentration with grace and fine balance. Scented, grassy and floral, it shifts into another gear on the palate, with layers of fine tannins, dark, savoury fruit and refreshing acidity. 2028-40
|Score: 97||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
Even deeper colour than La Mission. Broad and spicy and very rich and a compote of warm bricks. (La Mission is more muscular and obviously tannic.) Firm and not over the top. Prances. Transparent and very much Haut-Brion.
|Score: 19||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
Without doubt one of the world's greatest and most individual wine estates. The family traditions continue here with Jean-Philippe Delmas running the wine-making as his father and grandfather did before him and Clarence Dillon's great-grandson Robert de Luxembourg in overall charge of this wonderful property. Haut Brion - unlike the other First Growths - has never had a bad period and, for our money, is the most consistently great wine of Bordeaux. Since 1958 it has been bottled in the unique and iconic Haut Brion bottle. Deep colour with a tight, brooding nose of clove, cassis and wood smoke. The palate is tightly wound, with layers of fine tannin holding a dense core of brooding fruit. The lifted acidity gives great finesse to the texture of the wine, which is svelte, precise and fine on a very long, pure cassis finish. Currently more backward than many wines this year, it may take time to reveal its true qualities.
|Score: 18||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
This stunning wine is flexing its muscles, showing off its power and depth. Perfectly placed, so precise and utterly gorgeous with a hand-in-glove power. The texture is satin, silky and velvety, each strand providing a different take on charcoal, slate, menthol and bilberry, with mouthwatering acidity that suspends the finish for several minutes. Harvesting took place between 19th September and 13th October. 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc aged in 78% new oak.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
|Score: 98||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|