Château Haut-Brion Rouge
This vintage is a wine full of contradictions and difficult to make out.
The grapes were acid, but produced a subtle wine.
The sugar level was unusually high but the phenolic ripeness
altered depending on the different varieties.
The Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon seemed riper than the Merlots.
The quality was very close to the last year’s crop,
but the structure of the wine was different. Missing the tannins of the ’95,
now the ’96 tannins finished with a light bitter taste in the mouth.
The wine was ample with a good structure and a pleasant harmony.
It is a very good wine and will make an excellent Haut-Brion.
The climate of 1996 was mostly characterized by its great irregularity. Except for a few days in July, there were no long hot periods. It began to rain rather late in August. The first half of September was temperate but it rained all the time during the second half. Altogether the summer was average with a few nice intervals.
A few figures
From September 16th to October 4th
Cabernet Sauvignon: 39%
Cabernet Franc: 11 %
From June 26th to July 7th 1998