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Chateau Haut-Brion 2016

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750ML / 0% ABV
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4.8 6 Ratings
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4.8 6 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 100
James Suckling
Stunning black fruit with plenty of forest berries in there, the whole picture cool and very delicate, also on the concentrated and highly structured palate. The tannins are very fine-grained, but decisively austere and, together with the vibrant acidity, they propel the finish out towards infinity and leave a breathtaking final impression. A blend of 56 per cent merlot, 37.5 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 6.5 per cent cabernet franc. Very long aging potential, but you could try it in 2023.
WE 100
Wine Enthusiast
Immensely tannic, this is a great Haut-Brion, one of the finest for many years. It shows the severe side of this estate, with a dense structure to match the powerful black fruits. Rich with berry flavors and lifted by enough acidity, the wine will age for many years. Drink from 2026.
Cellar Selection
V 100
Vinous
The 2016 Haut-Brion is quite possibly even more magnificent from bottle than it was from barrel. Powerful and rich, yet not at all heavy, the 2016 is a wine of nearly indescribable beauty. Haut-Brion is often a thrilling wine, but it is rarely this finessed in its youth. Gravel, cure meat, tobacco and cedar are some of the many nuances that develop with air, but it is an extraordinary sense of harmony that really stands out. What a wine!
RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Haut-Brion is blended of 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the nose is at once profound and arresting, offering drop-dead gorgeous Morello cherries, lilacs and red rose scents with a core of Black Forest cake, warm blackcurrants and blueberry preserves plus wafts of sandalwood and underbrush. Medium-bodied, the elegantly crafted palate is completely packed with intense floral, mineral and cassis-laced flavors with a firm frame of very finely pixelated tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and achingly stunning.
D 100
Decanter
This has a little more reticence initially on the nose than La Mission, but after a few minutes the rich texture begins to reveal itself, with charcoal, tobacco, dark plum and damson fruits that are straining at the leash. It has hidden power and subtle oak toasting - this clearly feels no need to shout about its presence, but there will be plenty to discover over time. You can feel those tannins licking around your teeth, building up one layer at a time. A great wine En primeur that has settled into greatness.
WS 98
Wine Spectator
Large and in charge, this has a prodigious core of steeped plum, black currant and loganberry fruit flavors that show both compote and coulis aspects. While that steeps, this delivers a sturdy frame of roasted mesquite, smoldering tobacco and incense, surrounding a muscular spine of worn cedar and tar. Still rather backward, this will be showing well when most others from the vintage have had their day. Best from 2025 through 2045.
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
As to the reds, the 2016 Haut Brion is a prodigious, legendary wine in the making, although it’s not for those seeking instant gratification. Deeper colored and more concentrated than the La Mission Haut Brion, it reveals a purple/ruby color as well as a sensational bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, cigar tobacco, cold fireplace, violets, and lead pencil. Deep, masculine, structured, and mineral-laced, it has a stacked mid-palate, full-bodied richness, building tannins, and a firm, blockbuster styled finish that lasts for close to a minute. A wine for the ages, don’t even think about opening bottles for at least 7-8 years. It should keep for half a century. The blend in 2016 is 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6.5% Cabernet Franc.
Rating: 98+
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Chateau Haut-Brion

Chateau Haut-Brion

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Chateau Haut-Brion, France
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Chateau Haut-Brion is the oldest and by far the smallest of the "Premiers Grands Crus" vineyards of the Gironde 1855 classification. Chateau Haut-Brion is one of the few remaining family-owned domains of the Bordeaux region with a history going back to the 16th century. It has been owned by the American Dillon family since 1935.Thanks to its long history as one of Bordeaux's most prestigious wines, the estate has left its mark on the region for centuries.

The vineyard covers an area of 51 hectares (about 126 acres). Slightly more than 48 hectares are planted with red grape varieties. The terrain at Haut-Brion, formed of two large mounds of a type of gravel known as Gunzian because it was deposited during the earliest geologic stage of the Pleistocene epoch, rises between 40 and 50 feet above the beds of the neighboring streams. This gravel consists of small stones, including various kinds of quartz, and it is these precious gems that help to give Chateau Haut-Brion's wines their distinctive character. This expansive elevated reach of gravelly terrain, bounded at the north by the Le Peugue stream and at the south by the Le Serpent stream, has been called Haut -Brion at least as far back as the early years of the fifteenth century, as evidenced by ancient maps and deeds dating from this period. The sub-soil consists of a mixture of clay and sand.

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Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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