#55 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2019
Blend: 56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.5% Cabernet Franc
100 Pts – 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.
100 Pts – 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.
100 Pts – 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!
100 Pts – 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.
100 Pts – 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.
98 Pts – 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.
98 Pts – 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.