2014 Chateau Haut Brion (375 ml)
The 2014 Haut Brion is a blend of 50% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 11 September and 10 October, cropped at 42.9 hectoliters per hectare and raised in 70% new oak. As I observed when I made the comparison in barrel, the Haut Brion exudes more red fruit than La Mission Haut Brion, adorned with wild strawberry, bilberry, tobacco and again, just that hint of menthol in the background. The palate is very fresh and taut on the entry. The acidity is very nicely pitched and there is a touch of marmalade and blood orange that is tangible at the back of the mouth. There is real frisson to this Haut Brion, not quite as seductive and as smooth as its sibling over the road, but very persistent in the mouth. I noticed that over 15 to 20 minutes that the Haut Brion just gained more and more complexity, putting a small distance between itself and La Mission, as if determined to mock my opinion in barrel that La Mission would have the upper hand! Be my guest. Haut Brion has an inch, just an inch ahead of its "rival" sibling.