Bordeaux 2016: Haut Brion and Reserve de la Comtesse

Bordeaux 2016: Haut Brion and Reserve de la Comtesse
Prince Robert has released his wonderful range of 2016s. The La Mission Haut Brion was amongst the finest wines of the vintage. It is a soaring example, which will rival the superb 2005, 2009 and 2010. Neal Martin has awarded his highest score (98-100), so we expect this to be highly sought after at £1980 per 6.

Whereas the Mission was wonderfully transparent, the Haut Brion was a closed book - it is a brooding, reserved monolith. It will no doubt transform in barrel as all great Haut Brions do. Alas, the Chateau has released 25% less volume, so this will have to be allocated (£2490/6).

The second wines were both spectacular, particularly the Chapelle de la Mission (£385/6). It is the finest example we can remember tasting from barrel – very much in a baby Mission mould. Clarence de Haut Brion (£600/6) is also a very smart chap, but was slightly overshadowed by the splendid Chapelle.

We have miniscule quantities of Haut Brion Blanc (£3500/6) and La Mission Haut Brion Blanc (£2800/6). The whites from these two vineyards are rare as hens’ teeth. Personally, we’d prefer a case of Les Champs Libres from the Guinaudeaus; a more restrained, linear offering. However, if it’s statuesque, powerful white Bordeaux that you desire, these two are the ultimate expressions…

Two other wines of note have released on Haut Brion Day: Reserve de la Comtesse (£355/12), the sensational second wine from Pichon Lalande and Larcis Ducasse (£320/6). Both have been quite ambitious with their pricing, however the Reserve de la Comtesse is quite outstanding and is definitely worth buying – it’ll certainly be finding its way into many of our own cellars…