The undisputed king of Bordeaux's dry white wines. Truly great, but produced in miniscule quantities. The 2.8 hectare vineyard rarely makes much more than 500 dozen bottles a year from a blend of around 2/3 Semillon and 1/3 Sauvignon Blanc.
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An ethereal nose with very bright and delicate lemon citrus, dried-grass nuances, fresh-pastry notes and a lemon-blossom edge. The palate is astutely focused, energetic and quite taut, in a restrained style. A thread of fresh acidity holds long and seductively smooth into the fresh, cashew and hazelnut-infused finish. Unwaveringly precise. A blend of 70.5 per cent sauvignon blanc and 29.5 per cent semillon. Try from 2023.
The 2016 Haut-Brion Blanc is a very good white from the first growth, though I have never found it to be the very best. It has a well-defined bouquet of Golden Delicious apple, orange peel and light citrus notes, but it is not the epitome of complexity, and it lacks a little mineralité. The palate is very well balanced with a fine thread of acidity; there is an impression of tension and salinity here. Light Williams pear and white peach notes emerge toward the persistent finish. Excellent. Drink 2021-2045.
The Haut Brion 2016 Blanc is a blend of 70.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 29.5% Sémillon picked from 1-13 September. I found a little more complexity and mineralité here compared to the La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc this year, scents of chalk and lime flower complementing the citrus fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, notes of lime cordial, orange zest and grapefruit, almost flinty towards the finish that lingers long in the mouth with great vigor from start to finish. This is excellent, but not the best Haut Brion Blanc that I have tasted in recent years.
Drink Date 2020 - 2045
Layered with a round and rich texture and body. Full and flavorful. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character. Very long finish. Exotic and ripe. We will see which is better.
The 2016 Haut-Brion Blanc is a wine of real textural depth and resonance. Ample, full-bodied and rich, the Blanc speaks with a sense of regal sophistication. Absolutely nothing is out of place. There is plenty of freshness, but the Blanc is above all else a vertical white built on poise. Today, the 2016 shows quite a bit of youthful exuberance, but time in bottle should help temper some of that.
2021 - 2036
The 2016 Haut-Brion Blanc is rich, ample and captivatingly beautiful. A wine that fills every corner of the palate with its intensity and breadth, the 2016 represents one the few peaks of true excellence among the whites of the year. The blend is 69% Sauvignon and 31% Sémillon, but above all else, Haut-Brion Blanc is a wine of place. That is especially evident when tasting it next to the La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, which is so clearly Sauvignon Blanc-dominated, whereas the Haut-Brion Blanc maintains a great deal of its own personality and signatures. In the glass, the 2016 is voluptuous, racy and impossible to resist.
The undisputed king of Bordeaux's dry white wines. Truly great, but produced in miniscule quantities. The 2.8 hectare vineyard rarely makes much more than 500 dozen bottles a year from a blend of around 2/3 Semillon and 1/3 Sauvignon Blanc. The 2016 will only be a 5000 bottle production, with 70.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 29.5% Semillon due to drought stress for the latter. Very mineral and zingy for Haut Brion Blanc - real tension and taut smoky notes on the nose. Fine with savoury fruits, savoury spices and densely packed notes of curd and quince. Hints of beeswax and added body through to the finish but this is a very firm, svelte Haut Brion Blanc.
Mineral and citrus the nose is floral and fragrant the start of the palate bright and fresh. Ripe fruit in the middle white peach, tropical fruits, a hint of pear the richness underpinned by mineral and lime the finish bright and long. 2018-26
There’s very little of this wine produced - and what’s made isn’t cheap - but it’s one of the great whites of the world, even in a tricky vintage when acidity was at a premium. Broad, textured and intense, with leesy richness, stylish oak and a saline flourish. 2020-32
This opens very beautifully in the glass with a high level of aromatics, but just needs a few minutes to reveal these tight citrus peel and pink grapefruit flavours. Haut-Brion have navigated a tough year for whites far better then most, as you would expect. This has volume through the mid-palate and a well constructed, dancing minerality on the finish. 30% grand vin for the white, from a blend of 70.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 29.5% Sémillon aged in 35% new oak.
Drinking Window 2019 - 2035