2016 - Ch Haut Brion 1er Grand Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan
Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2025 - 2040
Case size
6x75cl

2016 CH HAUT BRION 1ER GRAND CRU CLASSÉ PESSAC-LÉOGNAN - 6x75cl

Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2025 - 2040
Case size
6x75cl

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Tasting Notes

  • GDH

    Goedhuis, April 2017,
    Score: 98-99

    56% Merlot, 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Cabernet Franc. Beneath its youthful reticence there is no doubt a great wine here. Deep ruby in colour, this has subtle aromas of ripe black fruits, with a hint of liquorice spice. There is nuanced power in its complex palate. The tannins are tightly furled at this early stage, but their chalky, fine nature should evolve with great grace over the years. CP

  • NM1

    Neal Martin, January 2019,
    Score: 99

    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

  • NM

    Neal Martin, April 2017,
    Score: 97-99

    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. Drink Date 2026 - 2070

  • AG1

    Antonio Galloni, January 2019,
    Score: 100

    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

  • AG

    Antonio Galloni, April 2017,
    Score: 95-98

    The 2016 Haut-Brion is shaping up to be one of the jewels of the vintage. Towering, powerful and intense, the 2016 is marvelously complete in all of its dimensions. Gravel, bacon fat, black cherry, smoke, leather and licorice are all pushed forward. The 2016 is quite rich, but never heavy. It is especially polished, even understated Haut Brion built more on finesse than power.

  • JS

    James Suckling, April 2017,
    Score: 100

    This is a monument for Haut-Brion and reminds me of the great 1998 but in a modern and bright style. Full-bodied, very tannic and superbly structured yet always agile and vivid. Its energy and dynamic nature grabs you by the shoulder and tells you it’s great. Staggeringly precise. It can’t get better than this, can it?

  • DC

    Decanter, April 2017,
    Score: 95

    This opens very beautifully in the glass with a high level of aromatics, but just needs a few minutes to reveal these tight citrus peel and pink grapefruit flavours. Haut-Brion have navigated a tough year for whites far better then most, as you would expect. This has volume through the mid-palate and a well constructed, dancing minerality on the finish. 30% grand vin for the white, from a blend of 70.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 29.5% Sémillon aged in 35% new oak.

  • MJ

    Matthew Jukes, April 2017,
    Score: 19.5++

    The splendour is evident from the off with a veritable tsunami of black fruit engulfing the palate and drenching every taste bud in stunning fruit. This is yet another epic Haut-Brion and it is so controlled and considered it is incredible. The tannins are, admittedly, huge, but they don’t back into the wine, staying discreetly on the finish. These tannins are seriously plush and exuberant and the fruit joins hands with these elements embracing their unique partnership. Their relationship with the oak is, too, incredible. Complete harmony is evident already in this wine. This is a masterful Haut-Brion and it is one of the wines of the vintage.

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, April 2017,
    Score: 19

    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. Drink 2028-2050

  • TA

    Tim Atkin, May 2017,
    Score: 97

    Ambitious, concentrated and built for the long haul, this is a superb Haut-Brion that’s combines density and concentration with grace and fine balance. Scented, grassy and floral, it shifts into another gear on the palate, with layers of fine tannins, dark, savoury fruit and refreshing acidity. 2028-40

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Producer

Château Haut-Brion

Arguably the oldest recognised Bordeaux grand cru, Haut Brion has been owned by the American Dillon family since 1935. The Château was an early moderniser - the first estate to implement steel vats in 1961 - and over the years, their incredible investments have re-established the inherent quality of this property, enabling it to emerge as possibly the most consistent first growth since the 1980s. Situated in Pessac-Léognan in Graves, the estate is the only classified growth located outside the Médoc. Château Haut Brion has the most Merlot and the most Cabernet Franc of any of the First Growths and the second wine is Bahans Haut Brion.

Region

Pessac-Léognan

Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.