Wine Advocate-Parker : Tasted at the château, the 1996 La Mission Haut Brion does not quite deliver the sense of confidence on the nose exuded by the likes of say, Château Margaux or Château Lafite-Rothschild. There is quite a marked Asian influence here and at 20 years old there is that conspicuous soy-like accent that permeates the red and black fruit -- red plums and a touch of orange blossom. There is something sedate about the aromatics, perhaps reclining too much in its comfy armchair. The palate is slightly better than the aromatics with fine tannin, though there is still some hardness here, a little static. This is a resolutely foursquare and conservative La Mission Haut-Brion that certainly lacks the depth and density of the best 1986s, partly because there is more Merlot in the blend (61% with 39% Cabernet Sauvignon). There is something ... anachronistic about this La Mission, a vintage I feel that is surpassed by many others conjured by either Jean-Bernard or Jean-Philippe Delmas. File alongside the 1996 Cheval Blanc as could have done better. Tasted July 2016.
Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc
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