Winemaker Notes: Chateau Haut-Brion red 2016 has a bright violet, red color with garnet reflections. It has a complex aromatic structure. The charm of this vintage presents striking scents of violets and red and black fruits. In the mouth, this wine is juicy, dense and ample. From the attack to the finish, the acidity is well-defined. The wine has a beautiful weight and the tannins are enveloping and creamy. The finish is long and beautifully-balanced. Blend: 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - "The 2018 Haut-Brion is composed of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, the wine needs a lot of swirling before it begins to release a whole complex melody of notes, one at a time to begin: tilled earth, followed by pronounced licorice, then crushed rocks, then the preserved plums. Eventually, it all comes together into a fascinating crescendo of intense crème de cassis, rose oil, wild blueberries and kirsch notes, giving way to quiet, persistent leitmotif scents of cinnamon stick, truffles and redcurrant jelly. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers all this and more, revealing tightly wound black fruit, red berry and exotic spice layers within a solid, wonderfully plush frame and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length and loads of earth and mineral sparks. This is a profound, highly intellectual, multilayered baby, which will require a good 7-8 years to begin to sing its incredible song, then should cellar a further 40 years at least. By way of reference, think 1989 with more restraint and even greater purity."
James Suckling - "Aromas of currants, leaves, fresh mushrooms, oyster shell, tobacco, and dried flowers, following through to a full body, yet ever so refined and polished and it grows on the palate. Lovely, energetic finish. Subtle and driven at the end of the palate. Drink in 2026 and onwards."
Jeb Dunnuck - "A quintessential expression of this terroir, the 2018 Château Haut-Brion checks in as 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. Ripe and sexy, yet also offering subtle aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, smoked earth, tobacco leaf, truffle, lead pencil, and minerals, it takes its time opening up but reveals a full-bodied, concentrated, multi-layered style carrying gorgeous tannins, flawless balance, and just a wonderful symmetry and elegance paired with beautiful richness. This noble, gorgeous Haut-Brion will benefit from 7-8 years of bottle age and cruise for 40 years or so."
Decanter - "A beautiful Haut-Brion that combines generosity and elegance. It's rich, and velvety, with a vibrant ruby rim, all conveying structure and a sense of power. The flavour floods in through the mid-palate, displaying wonderfully vibrant blackberry, blueberry, slate, touches of blond tobacco, freshly cut herbs and exotic spicing. You can feel in the texture that it's a warm year, not holding back. It's powerful but elegant and unforced at the same time, with some brambled edges that give a welcome sense of acidity and a touch of bitterness. Barrel Sample: 98"
Wine Enthusiast - "This wine has an immense structure that's powered by tannins, yet backed by a dry core and bright acidity. The black currant flavor is very fine and concentrated while also having a juicy freshness that marks the vintage. It has all the structure that should be expected from this estate. Barrel Sample: 96-98"
Wine Spectator - "Waves of cassis, cherry puree and blackberry paste roll through in this showstopper, with notes of tea, sandalwood, iron and anise providing an entourage for the fruit. A subtle warm earth accent underscores the finish without intruding on the texture. A large-scaled yet eminently refined wine. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2025 through 2045."
Vinous - "The 2018 Haut-Brion was double decanted, assessed after two hours and then over 24 hours, initially blind against La Mission Haut-Brion. There is more red fruit on the nose compared to the La Mission Haut-Brion, wild strawberries commingling with raspberry, light tobacco scents and shavings of black truffle. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced with superb salinity. Maybe this is more elegant and seductive than the La Mission thanks to the killer line of acidity, though it has slightly less backbone and grip by comparison. Oddly, this First Growth is the most approachable of the pair. It has wonderful cohesion and harmony toward the precise, captivating finish. Superb. My hunch is that this will have wider appeal in its youth, then the La Mission might put its nose in front after 15–20 years. Drinking window: 2024 - 2060"
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