1996HautBrion1996 Ch√Ęteau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Premier Cru Classe des Graves, First Growth, Red Bordeaux, France.
Wow, what a special treat this was, to taste a fantastic mature Haut-Brion, I am thrilled and grateful that a client brought this one in, it is not often I can tell you that this kind of generous act happens, so a big thanks to Mr Fluhmann for sharing this beauty from his cellar, it felt like Christmas. The 1996 vintage is really coming around, I’ve tasted many examples this year and if you have them then you’ll be happily surprised, especially this fantastic and soulful Chateau Haut-Brion! This Bordeaux is showing a heavy Cabernet presence with power, firm structure, ripe tannins and deep layers with a dark garnet hue. The nose is full of vitality and earthy with intensity and hints of truffle, game and crushed wild flowers leading to dusty dark fruits and cedar notes, the palate is cense with blackberry, tangy currants, forest floor, sage, cigar tobacco, black cherry, plum and smoky wood shadings, along with some sandalwood, leather and pencil lead. Sadly I couldn’t follow this bottle long enough as it was heading out to a party without me, but in the few minutes I let it air it filled out and gained in every area, this is a classic Bordeaux that while still youthful still drinks perfectly well now. What a pleasure, this is great wine, the aftertaste lingered on and on with a creme de cassis and mineral notes, and the earthy side faded into the pretty fruit core, just fabulous.
($370-500 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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