The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion was deeply impressive out of barrel. Now in bottle, does it meet my admittedly high expectations? Yes. Quite deep in color, it delivers the same intense and disarmingly pure bouquet it exhibited during en primeur, offering blackberry, kirsch, fig and pressed iris flowers and wonderful delineation. The palate is medium-bodied, the new oak still prominent but sutured into the fabric of the fruit. There is a discreet sprinkling of cracked black pepper, and the finish is controlled and correct when it might easily have overreached with something more brash. This will age with style, but be warned, it will require several years in the cellar.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2050
Robert Parker 95+
The 2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 65% new and 35% one-year-old oak for 22 months. This is one of the largest percentages of Cabernet Franc for this wine this vintage. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it gives notes of kirsch, black raspberries and black plums with touches of cassis, violets, chocolate box and pencil shavings. The palate is medium-bodied, firm, grainy and lively with loads of layers and a long, well-poised finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2041