The 2016 La Mission Haut-Brion was stunning from barrel, and now in bottle. It has a sublime bouquet of blackberries, briar and hints of dark chocolate and rose petals that gain intensity with aeration while maintaining ethereal delineation. It never steps on the accelerator too hard. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. There is still a veneer of new oak that will need to be assimilated over the coming years. This is a deep La Mission that caresses the mouth. Touches of graphite lingering on a finish that fans out gloriously. Is the 2016 up there with the 1955 or 1989? Nearly.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2066
Robert Parker 98+
The 2016 La Mission Haut-Brion is a blend of 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, it is just a little muted to begin, soon unfurling to reveal slowly growing scents of crushed blackcurrants, black cherries, dark chocolate and candied violets with nuances of crushed rocks, tobacco leaf, forest floor and fragrant earth plus a hint of bergamot. Medium-bodied and exquisitely elegant, the palate offers perfectly ripe, fine-grained tannins and tons of freshness with layer upon layer of perfumed fruit and a very long, ferrous-laced finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2054