Château-Haut-Brion Pessac Léognan 1996

$699.00
Save $100.00 (14%)
$599.00

SKU 12099

750ml

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ws
93
wa
92
Haut Brion was the first recorded First Growth to be imported to the United States, when Thomas Jefferson purchased six cases during his French travels and sent them to his estate in Virginia. Unlike the other 4 First Growths, Mouton, Lafite, Latour and Margaux, which are planted to 70-80% Cabernet Sauvignon, Haut Brion has less than 50% Cabernet in the blend, with up to 40% Merlot, which explains why it is usually not as 'big' as its First Growth peers, but eminently more aromatic.
Interestingly, Robert Parker makes a point to say in his 4th edition of Bordeaux, "After more than 30 years of intensely tasting Bordeaux, I have a greater & greater affection for Haut-Brion, its character increasingly appealing to me as I have gotten older & wiser..."
Category Red Wine
Varietals
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Appellation Pessac-Leognan
Brand Château-Haut-Brion
  • ws93

Wine SpectatorGorgeous aromas of crushed berries, cigar box, black licorice and tanned leather. Full-bodied, with fine silky tannins and a medium to long finish. Seems a little tight right now. But refined and pretty. Nice for the vintage.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008.

2007
  • wa92

Wine AdvocateThe backward 1996 Haut-Brion was bottled in July, 1998. Even administrator Jean Delmas was surprised by how closed it was when I tasted it in January. Only 60% of the crop was utilized in the final blend, which was 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc. Out of barrel, this wine exhibited far more forthcoming aromatics as well as a sweeter mid-palate than it revealed from bottle. I had expected it to be more forward, and thus slightly down-graded the wine, although I am thrilled to own it and follow what appears to be a slow evolution. It will be a potentially long-lived wine. The 1996 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, and a surprisingly tight bouquet. With aeration, notes of fresh tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, asphalt, and black fruits emerge ... but reluctantly. It is tannic and medium-bodied, with outstanding purity and a layered, multidimensional style. However, the finish contains abundant tannin, suggesting that this wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030.

Robert Parker, April 1999

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