(2020) Solid ruby at the core but tawny towards the rim, this has a mellow, currant and sweet plum flesh nose, that undertow of game and sauvage quality is there, a firm graphite note still discernable. No sign of the slightly more animal character of a couple of bottles drunk many years ago. Lovely sweetness on the palate: pure blackcurrant and savoury, plum skin and bitter orange, tannins still spicy and taut, acidity balanced and gastronomic, and the wine drinking really well. I'd guess this is at, or has just peaked, and is for drinking now. Really very good indeed - complete mature Bordeaux experience.
(2019) From a legendary vintage, this second-growth Margaux is absolutely exemplary classic Bordeaux: only 12.5% alcohol and a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot, at 33 years old the colour is surprisingly dense and ruby at the core, the broad rim only just fading to pink/amber. Heavenly, pure classic nose of pencil shavings and truffle, a little dried blood note and plenty of black, small berry fruits. There is perfume to spare here, from the gamey to the floral. Decanted for half an hour or so, it is clearly a wine just edging towards the downslope, the tannins a little dry, a bit of brick dust character, but is gives such pleasure and is such a terrific wine. Balancing meatiness, elegance, firmness and yielding softness so well, it has sweet fruit on the mid-palate but does dry just slightly towards the long finish, suggesting it should be drunk up soon to enjoy this gorgeous wine at its best.
(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 absolutely à 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? 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.
(2007) Lovely nose here, that is very classical with pure, seamless blackcurrant fruit and an earthy, elegant warmth hinting at tobacco. It is quite subdued compared to some, but very classy. Dry, savoury tannins sweep across the palate, but there is such fine sweet fruit and structured acidity, that the impression is of a brooding, but seriously good wine with massive potential.
(2006) Lovely nose here, that is very classical with pure, seamless blackcurrant fruit and an earthy, elegant warmth hinting at tobacco. It is quite subdued compared to some, but very classy. Dry, savoury tannins sweep across the palate, but there is such fine sweet fruit and structured acidity, that the impression is of a brooding, but seriously good wine with massive potential.
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