Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2016: a superbly balanced Pauillac
Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal is a Classified 5th Growth produced in Pauillac. The average vine is 35 years old, and planted on gravel from the Garonne and a limestone-clay subsoil. Ageing is a 16 month process that occurs in wooden barrels, using 40% new barrels. Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2016 is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.
Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2016 experienced an extremely hot summer and drought season. The limited water access increased the grapes sugar concentration. The temperature decrease starting in mid-September allowed the grapes to mature while maintaining their quality. The harvest was from September 27th to October 19th.
Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal 2016 has a beautiful colour that is very rich. The wine has magnificently well-integrated tannins and is wonderfully balanced.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2016 Haut Bages Liberal has a very focused and much more sumptuous bouquet than in previous years, thankfully without dispensing any of its character. It just seems more confident on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, pretty blackberry and boysenberry fruit laced with a touch of oyster shell, sashaying towards a quite elegant finish with admirable depth. You would not describe this as a potentially exciting Pauillac, but I suspect it will be delicious once in bottle.