Robert Parker 93
It has been a few years since I last tasted the 2004 Haut-Brion. Now at 12 years of age, it retains its deep color. The bouquet is "pleasant" if not as complex as the 2004 Latour, yet it’s possibly just biding its time as it gradually opens with black fruit, black olive, even a touch of mint that might dupe you into thinking Pauillac. The palate is medium-bodied and very harmonious, almost caressing thanks to the Merlot lending that velvety texture. The second half changes tack, the Cabernet nudging the Merlot off the stage and delivering a more structured, possibly foursquare finish that is linear and correct. It is an excellent wine for the vintage although it will always be overshadowed by the 2005 inter alia. Maybe more personality just needs to develop? Tasted September 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040
Good deep ruby-red. Reticent nose showed some dark cherry with aeration. Densely packed but youthfully closed, even a bit austere today, offering hints of black raspberry and minerals. This is fairly tannic wine (the IPT is 72) but there’s nothing hard about it. My sample gained in sweetness and texture with aeration, although its fruit character remained tightly wound. Give this time in a carafe if you plan to try it anytime soon. At this tasting, the ’04 La Mission was showing much more personality.