Thursday, July 4, 2024

LeDomduVin: Chateau Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2016 (again)

Chateau Haut-Brion Grand Cru Pessac-Leognan 2016

It is sentimental between Chateau Haut-Brion and me.

I first tasted Haut-Brion in 1994. It was a 1986 vintage, and I fell in love that day.

I was lucky to work in a “Relais et Chateaux” located in Talence, bordering Pessac. Most of the wines on the list were from the appellations “Graves” and “Pessac-Leognan.” We also had a few vintages of Haut-Brion.

Then, one day, a customer brought a magnum of Haut-Brion 1959. The wine was magnificent. It was an epiphany. I was 21 years old and had never tasted such an incredible wine.

Later, in September 1996, my Sommelier Promotion was invited to spend a week at the Chateau to participate in the harvest. It was an incredible memory!

We were even given a bottle of Haut-Brion 1993 (or was it 1994? My memory is failing me) as a present for our contribution from Mr Jean-Bernard Delmas. And I can proudly say that I have harvested some of the 1996 vintage.

Since then, my love for Haut-Brion has never ceased to grow. I visited the Chateau many times in the early to mid-2000s. In my 33-year career as a Sommelier/wine Buyer, I have always had Haut-Brion on all my wine lists (and shelves when I worked in retail).

I have been lucky enough to open countless amounts of this wine over the years, from the 1945 vintage to 2018 for the most recent vintage, and pretty much everything in between.

I have repeatedly said that Chateau Haut-Brion is my favorite Bordeaux wine, and this 2016 vintage confirms it again!

The last time I tried the 2016 vintage was in October last year, and it was beautiful! And 10 months later, it is still a masterpiece.

Haut-Brion 2016 offers plenty of gorgeous red and black berry and fruit aromas, refreshing acidity, outstanding balance, excellent structure, a long finish, and a good grip of integrated tannins that will mellow down with time. Its freshness and richness enhance its soft and silky texture. It is sophisticated, focused, elegant, and racy. What a wine!

Cheers! Sante!


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