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95-96 points - Wine AdvocateAs I indicated last year, Haut-Brion utilized only 60% of its production in the 1996 final blend (50% Merlot, 39% Caber... Read more
A wine of complexity and harmony rather than power, Haut-Brion is showing tobacco, cedar and leather aromas melded with some fairly serious black f... Read more
Seductive Haut-Brion. Complex, with cinnamon, vanilla, cherry, berry and dried fruits on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and... Read more
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95-96 points - Wine AdvocateAs I indicated last year, Haut-Brion utilized only 60% of its production in the 1996 final blend (50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc). While it is undoubtedly true that the appellations of Pessac-Leognan and Graves were less successful in 1996 than the Medoc, the wines produced under the administration of Jean Delmas (i.e., Haut-Brion, La Mission-Haut-Brion, and La Tour-Haut-Brion) are brilliant in the 1996 vintage, continuing a trend that has made Haut-Brion one of the most consistent first-growths in Bordeaux (consider the superlative performances in such difficult vintages as 1993, 1992, and 1987). The 1996 Haut-Brion has put on weight, and was even sweeter and more fragrant in November than it was earlier in the year. The wine exhibits a dark ruby color with purple nuances. Haut-Brion's signature is most frequently its glorious perfume of tobacco, black fruits, smoke, and dried herbs, combined with sweet, supple fruit, all crammed into a concentrated wine that never has the weight or tannic power of a Medoc, or the thick unctuosity of a top right bank wine. As I have frequently written, the one significant change to my palate over the last twenty years has been the fact that while I have always admired Haut-Brion, now I am addicted to its perfume and complexity. It is never the biggest of the first-growths, but it is usually among the most compelling wines of this elite group, with the most profound set of aromatics of any of its peers. That being said, the 1996 should turn out to be an exquisite wine, perhaps slightly more structured and backward than the superb 1995, but very rich, with gobs of smoky, cherry, tobacco-tinged fruit, medium body, exceptional purity and equilibrium, and a long, moderately tannic finish. The tannins taste extremely sweet. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030. - February 1998, Robert Parker
A wine of complexity and harmony rather than power, Haut-Brion is showing tobacco, cedar and leather aromas melded with some fairly serious black fruit. It resembles the superb 1985 at a similar stage, suggesting this has a good ten years before it peaks. And it will be lovely for 20 years thereafter.
Seductive Haut-Brion. Complex, with cinnamon, vanilla, cherry, berry and dried fruits on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a polished, caressing texture. Best after 2003.
Deep plum, currant, and mineral notes emerge from the concentrated, beautifully balanced, pure 1999 Haut Brion. It seems to be cut from the same mold as years such as 1979 and 1985. There is a hint of graphite in the abundant fruit. The wine is medium to full-bodied, nuanced, subtle, deep, and provocatively elegant. It is made in a style that only Haut Brion appears capable of achieving. The finish is extremely long, the tannins sweet, and the overall impression one of delicacy interwoven with power and ripeness. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.
Rich and wonderful wine, classic, with loads of vanilla, raspberry and chocolate aromas. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long aftertaste of berry, grape and vanilla. Subtle, elegant and powerful, with great length. Best after 2009.
1995 was a solid rated vintage, a hot summer, but due to a high water table, the region's vines suffered no stress. This vintage as well connotes harmony between the fine structure and complexity of aromas. Enough charm to enjoy now, or continue to cellar.
A splendid Haut-Brion with wonderful elegance. Refines tannins. Dark-colored, with beautiful ripe berry, cherry and very smoky nuances. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, plush texture on the finish. Best after 2001.
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