Château Haut Brion is one of the five First Growths of the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. The Château was established in 1533 by Jean de Pontac, who was the first to plant vineyards on this prime gravelly site, found in the Graves sub-region of Pessac Leognan. The Chateau is owned today by Prince Robert of Luxembourg, the great-grandson of Clarence Dillon.
It is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with three hectares planted to the white varieties of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Château Haut Brion is the only property outside of the Medoc in the 1855 classification. A wine of class and breed, Château Haut Brion is typically more approachable in its youth, showing floral perfume and elegance, yet possesses the structure required for exceptional longevity.
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.
19/20 points, JancisRobinson.com
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.
97-99 points, 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! 2026-2066'
100 points, Antonio Galloni
Deep colour. Fresh elderberry, cassis aromas, with vanilla oak notes. Richly Dense with voluminous black currant blackberry fruits with cedar oak notes and lovely chocolaty mid-palate textures. All still elemental and unevolved but in symmetry. Finishes gravelly and long. Tasted at Ch Haut Brion.
96 points, Langton's
"The 2016 Haut-Brion has a beguiling sense of purity on the nose, which features scents of blackberry, crushed violet petals, hints of dark chocolate and even a suggestion of fresh fig. Underneath all this is a seam of mineralité that becomes more conspicuous with aeration, tightening everything up. The palate is medium-bodied with filigreed tannin, a satiny texture, perfect acidity and incredible harmony. Everything here is in the right place. Quite sensual in style, conveying an enthralling sense of delineation on the long finish. About as good as you will find in this vintage. 2026-2080"
99 Points, Vinous
"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."
100 Points, JamesSuckling.com
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 points, Wine Advocate (December 2018)
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.
98+ points, jebdunnuck.com (February 2019)
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.
100 points, Wine Enthusiast, 2019
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 points, Wine Spectator (March 2019)