2016 Château Haut-Brion Pessac Léognan 1st Classified Growth

  • Awarded 5 Times 100 Point Scores!
  • "Even More Magnificent From Bottle Than It Was From Barrel" ~100 VM
  • "One of the Finest for Many Years" ~100 WE
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About the Wine

Chateau Haut Brion is the pinnacle of Cabernet production and has been regarded as such for centuries. This wine has such a long history of excellence that America's Founding Fathers were regular fanatics of the estate with Thomas Jefferson even purchasing 24 cases to bring home. (an order that size is a testament in its own right) With the quality of wine overall going up, Chateau Haut Brion has done the same in its time since the founding of the US and has been on a streak of great vintages this side of 2000. 

Named after the ancient Celtic term "Briga," meaning a rise in the land, this estate boasts a legacy spanning over six centuries, a testament to its enduring charm.

In the wine-making realm, Haut-Brion leads the way in innovation since 1961. Picture this: shiny stainless steel fermentation tanks basking in the Bordeaux sunlight, a symbol of Haut-Brion's dedication to quality. But it doesn't end there. With careful attention to detail, Haut-Brion selects the perfect grape varieties, ensuring each sip is perfection.

Classified as a 1st Growth estate in 1855, Haut-Brion has left its mark on wine history. It's not just about prestige; it's about passion. 

This is bottle is backed by a long history, it is a wine that will age gracefully for the better part of a century if you let it. There isn't a real need for truly extensive aging but it will certainly benefit from a couple of years of alone time in a cold dark place. 

Tasting Notes: Dark, intense red color. The initial impression on the nose is deep, spicy, and incredibly complex, undiscovered by ripe black fruit aromas. Starts out soft and well-structured on the palate, becoming full-bodied with impressive volume and smooth tannin. The finish is incredibly long, enhanced by rich flavors that are neither heavy nor harsh. Unquestionably a very fine Haut-Brion!


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. ~100 Decanter

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% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc. Very long aging potential, but you could try it in 2023. ~100 James Suckling

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.~100 Wine Advocate

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! ~100 Vinous Media

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.  ~100 Wine Enthusiast

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. ~98+ Jeb Dunnuck

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. ~98 Wine Spectator

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