(2018) At 33-years old, in a more or less perfect place for me, pouring with still a healthy ruby at the core and the nose absolutelyÂ Ã pointe with some herbal Cabernet character, but loads of precise graphite and black fruit and a waft of rose-like perfume somewhere in the background. In the mouth still rich and substantial: a wine that has shrugged off its three decades, still a hint of muscularity and taut athleticism, but there is a softening touch to the fruit, a little Muscavado sugar caramel, but lovely, lovely resolution of the tannins and acids into a harmonious and quite long finish. Could it be a tad more complex?Â Maybe, but I'm very happy to have one more bottle left in the cellarfor drinking over the next few years.
(2016) Nice deep and dense colour, orange on rim, initially quite gamy on opening, meat stock and a touch of almost bretty character but over 10 minutes that has almost disappeared, leaving much more cigar box and graphite, classic and mineral with a core of taut black fruit. Glorious in the mouth: fairly lean in style, that is, no excess baggage here, just a tight and meaty core of black fruit and roasted meat, chestnut and a hint of cherry. Fresh, with elegant acidity, a fairly noteable tannin still. Delicious and I think it may plateau for quite some time.
(2016) At 22 years old the Haut-Brion 1994 has a broad amber rim, and a red oxide colour. On the nose there is plenty of game and forest floor, briary character, graphite and pencil-shavings, and a sweet black berry fruit is there in the mix. In the mouth it has marvelous, blood-streaked and mineral character: true Graves, with the savoury black fruit touched by olive and game, the tannins very refined and now quite modest, and the alacrity of good natural acidity and its lowly 12.5% alcohol shining through. It perhaps lacks the final ounce of generosity to command the highest score, and it is hard to say whether more time in the cellar will be rewarded, but it has a relatively austere beauty and is a terrific wine that oozes class from first sip to last.
(2010) Big and meaty, concentrated with little nuances of mint and game, a slick of youthful vanilla oak too. The palate has a big, drying tannin structure at this stage and a lovely cherry acidity, but the meaty substance of the fruit and underlying elegance of the balance will out. Terrific and structured to age.
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