Haut Brion & La Mission Haut Brion

 

TWO JEWELS ON BORDEAUX' WINE HEAVEN

 

140

Harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon in the front of Haut Brion - 29th September 2015

---

Haut Brion is the only one of First Growths, which doesn't come from Haut-Médoc. It's situated just opposite La Mission Haut Brion in Pessac, neighboring suburb to Talence. It was during Georges Delmas' reign, who arrived at Haut Brion in 1921, that Haut Brion underwent extensive improvements in the vineyard and cellar.

He had functioned as both the manager and regisseur, and Haut Brion came up with many outstanding vintages during his stay. His son, Jean-Bernard Delmas, followed him in 1961 and took care of Haut Brion until 2003. During his reign, Haut Brion has really been flying high. Jean-Philippe Delmas has taken over responsibility for Haut Brion from his father in 2003 and the high quality has been maintained.

There are 43 ha of vines planted with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Vines are 36 years old on average and Haut Brion spends 22 months in new oak.

Haut Brion is rather heavier wine to "dance" with than La Mission Haut Brion. It's strong and powerful with enormous depth, richness and length. It's masculine and not "filled" with silk, like sister property La Mission Haut Brion. Haut Brion represents all the things you love in Bordeaux wines – unique soil, style, class and refinement. It's keeping abilities can easily last 3-4-5 decades.

La Mission Haut Brion is situated in Bordeaux' southern suburb, Talence. From 1919 and until 1983, it was Woltner family, who had owned this property. Under Woltner's reign, La Mission Haut Brion experienced one of its greatest period with string of fine vintages and was considered then as fully on the level with First Growths and sometimes even better than these. In 1983, owners of Haut Brion purchased La Mission Haut Brion and today its Jean Philippe Delmas, who's responsible for this property.

There are 20 ha of vines planted with 48 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, vines are on average 21 years old and wine spends 20 months in new oak. It's really difficult and almost impossible to resist La Mission Haut Brion's fantastic richness, silky structure, extraordinary balance and sophisticated/refined "look". La Mission Haut Brion is irresistible even in average vintages and is famous for a legendary long life of its wines.

OBS! The majority of tasting notes concerning red Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion (1920-1975) as listed below, was collected during an unbelievable tasting of 19 vintages of Haut Brion and 39 vintages of La Missión Haut Brion, which took place in Copenhagen in the end of September 2006.

---

HAUT BRION RED

 

Haut Brion 2015 (barrel sample

Tasted in April 2016. 50% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc, alcohol level landed at 14.9%. This wine was similar to 2015 LMHB but with fatter tannin and with slightly longer finish. Incredibly aromatic nose, voluptuous on the palate, well-defined and precise. Great, great vintage we have here. Reminds a lot of 2005 vintage. 97p.

Haut Brion 2014 (barrel sample) 95+p

Tasted in March 2015. Cherry flavor all over, excellent acidity, great complexity, fat fruit and tannin, excellent structure and long fat finish. Very impressive wine indeed.

Haut Brion 2013 (barrel sample) 93p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. Complex with silky fruit and silky tannin. Splendid concentration, depth and structure. Spicy fruit. A bit lighter version of this wine than usual.

Haut Brion 2012 94p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2014. Consistent notes. Intense on the nose and palate. Violets and crushed dark berries, splendid complexity, depth and quite strong structure. Fine effort for the vintage.

Haut Brion 2011 95p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2014. Not consistent notes. It was more tannic and stronger than La Mission Haut Brion. A bit backward.

Haut Brion 2010 99p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2013. Consistent notes. This wine delivered lots of dark cherries covered by milk chocolate on nose and palate, freshness, big aromas, depth, very long, minerality, strong backbone, sweet fat tannin and astonishing balance. Mind-boggling effort.

Haut Brion 2009 99p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. Whopping 98% of harvest went in Grand Vin – grapes were of fantastic quality. Incredibly aromatic black fruit, strong, lots of dark cherries on nose and palate, very deep and dense, very long, mineral, velvety and with astonishing balance. Granit block - long, long lasting potential. Mind-boggling effort.

Haut Brion 2008 97p

Tasted five times - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. 35% of the harvest into Grand Vin, 41% Merlot + 50% Cabernet Sauvignon + 9% Cabernet Franc. This wine offered more complex result than La Mission with more nuances, excellent balance, finesse, richness and very long, smooth and caressing finish. Stunning wine!

Haut Brion 2007 94p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2009. Consistent notes. 43% Merlot + 44% C.Sauvignon + 13% C.Franc, which corresponds precisely to percentage of planted grape varieties in the vineyard! Only 43% of the harvest survived the severe selection for Grand Vin. Deep dark red. More dense and more concentrated than La Mission, otherwise same style. Strikingly well-balanced and classy wine.

Haut Brion 2006 96p

Tasted four times - last time in October 2009. Consistent notes. Haut Brion (57% Merlot + 41% Cabernet Sauvignon + 2% Cabernet Franc) delivered great performance in 2006 vintage, but wasn't as hedonistic as its 2005 version. Very aromatic on the nose with dark cherries and blackcurrants added big portions of ripe and round tannins, densely knitted, rich and with exquisite structure. Will easily keep for 25-30 years.

Haut Brion 2005 99p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2015. Consistent notes. This wine was strong and powerful in October 2007, crammed with fruit and tannin and had fabulous structure, immense length and depth. In September 2015, it welcomed me with open arms, showing powerhouse approach, fatness and thick flavours, stunning depth, was crammed with perfectly ripe fruit and tannin and showing fantastic structure and finish. Already legendary wine which will last for 3-4-5 decades.

Haut Brion 2004 94p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2007. Consistent notes. Contains 61% Merlot, 20% C.Sauvignon and 19% C.Franc. Pretty aromatic on the nose with excellent black cherries and plenty of fruit to balance big quantities of tannin, big depth and very long aftertaste. Needs time to develop further, but has an excellent potential.

Haut Brion 2003 95p

Tasted twice - last time in August 2007. Consistent notes. Haut Brion came up with a stunning wine, packed with blackcurrants, tobacco and chocolate, intense and concentrated. There was not even a trace of overheated fruit or jammy character in this wine. 2015-2030.

Haut Brion 2002 96p

Tasted in September 2003. Incredibly intense with fabulous structure. Very strong and robust, gobs of ultra-concentrated ripe and luscious fruit in astonishing cooperation with big amounts of fat and ripe tannin. This wine is a big thrill and surely among the top six wines of the vintage. Yummy! 2010-2030.

Haut Brion 2001 95p

Tasted four times - last time in February 2010. Consistent notes. Immensely concentrated and aromatic (red fruit). Deep and well-structured. You don't find much finesse or elegance here, but sheer power and strength. A real macho wine. 2010-2035.

Haut Brion 2000 98p

Tasted in September 2003. Extremely intense nose of dark berries, extremely dense and extremely refined. Exceptional depth, richness and longevity. 30 seconds long aftertaste. This is a heavy weight boxer with sophisticated punch, who's moving around in a very gracious way. 2015-2050.

Haut Brion 1995 96p

Tasted in February 2010. This wine acted like an opera singer with strong voice (Pavarotti) and what a wine! Silky all over, wonderfully balanced, structured and long on the palate. Seamless. True, true Bordeaux wine to make you extremely happy for at least a quarter of the century.

Haut Brion 1988 93p

Tasted in July 2014. Not quite developed yet. Lighter version of this wine with sheer elegance and finesse, very stylish and well-balanced. Tannin seems to be kept under strict control of fruit.

Haut Brion 1985 93p

Tasted twice - last time in June 2012. Consistent notes. It seemed to taste more dry and older that 1985 La Mission, but the quality was still awesome with truffles, fruit sweetness and long aftertaste.

Haut Brion 1982 92p

Tasted in March 2005. Surprisingly quite ripe and light in color. Although it's structure, complexity and class was very compelling, I expected much more from this wine. Has this wine already peaked?

Haut Brion 1964 91p

Tasted in April 2014. Elegant and mature wine, polished, fine balance and complexity. Light but with great finesse.

Haut Brion 1963 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

Haut Brion 1961 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Deep dark red. Smell of extracted coffee beans, port wine like and a bit peppery on the palate. It seemed that this bottle experienced a kind of heat shock during its storage before it's arrival at our tasting, because this vintage normally is superb for Haut Brion.

Haut Brion 1959 100p

Tasted 10 times - last time in September 2006. Consistent notes. I've been so lucky to taste this wine 10 times during the last 19 years and it's never, never and never disappointed! It's extremely rare for a wine lover to experience such a magnifique and perfect wine, which decade after decade remains young and vigorous. This wine is simply nectar of the Gods and one of true wine legends in Bordeaux. I'm pretty sure that it easily can impress for another decade or two or three....

The best set of the tasting

Haut Brion 1958 82p

Tasted in September 2006. Medium red with watery edge. Absolutely not at the level with La Mission Haut Brion's effort in this vintage. This is an old wine, still alive but there's a little time left.

Haut Brion 1957 83p

Tasted in September 2006. Not at all in the same league as La Mission. Aroma of mushrooms aroma and wet cardboard. Light and fragile on the palate. It seemed that this wine had reached the end of the road. Bad stored bottle again.

Haut Brion 1956 90p

Tasted in September 2006. Significantly better wine that Haut Brion 1957. Deep red with watery edges. Forest floor, spicy strawberries/mashed strawberries on the nose, good structure. Pleasant and round wine with fine aftertaste.

Haut Brion 1955 99p

Tasted in September 2006. Dark red. Incredibly refined nose full of truffles and cherries. Simply delicious! Stunningly sophisticated on the palate with fabulous concentration and length. Compared to its "sister" (La Mission Haut Brion), Haut Brion had some few strings more to play on, but was a tad older in its soul. Divine wine at its apogee.

Haut Brion 1953 95p

Tasted in September 2006. Medium red. Beautiful nose of truffles, cocoa powder and chocolate - as true and mature Bordeaux should be. Cherries and mashed strawberries on the palate, refined and with plenty of finesse. Round and silky in the aftertaste. A well-preserved, delicious and attractive wine, which is mega big enjoyment now.

Haut Brion 1952 96p

Tasted in September 2006. Surprisingly quite dark in color. Cacao powder on the nose with intense aroma od blackcurrants and cherries. Incredibly elegant, sophisticated and refined on the palate. Perfect harmony and round long lasting aftertaste. A true delicacy.

Haut Brion 1949 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away. Clearly a bottle which wasn't properly stored before it reached our palates.

Haut Brion 1948 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away. Another badly stored bottle.

Haut Brion 1947 83p

Tasted in September 2006. Dark red. Earthy aromas mixed with tobacco, extracted coffee beans, dry on the palate with old tannin. Unfortunately, it seemed that our bottle either visited many corners of the world or was simply stored in far too hot place during its long life.

Haut Brion 1945 97p

Tasted in September 2006. Medium red. Butter milk, mocha and caramel on the nose and mashed strawberries on the palate. Quite light but with long aftertaste. Refined and full of finesse. Barely so much fireworks here compared with the "sister" in same vintage, but there was nothing to be ashamed of. Formidable wine and great pleasure while enjoying it. At its very peak.

Haut Brion 1944 84p

Tasted in September 2006. Color of coke. Really old on the nose, slightly better on the palate with a bit of liquorice. Soon, it will be farewell to this wine!

Haut Brion 1943 96p

Tasted in September 2006. Dark red. Incredibly intense nose of blackcurrants and raspberries with stunning depth. Plenty of blackcurrants and raspberries on the palate, incredible length and complexity. What a vitality and young touch this wine came up with - brilliant all over the place. I think this wine can keep for additional 6-8 years.

Haut Brion 1929 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

Haut Brion 1926 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

Haut Brion 1924 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

Haut Brion 1923 82p

Tasted in September 2006. Light and fragile wine with little fruit. Very soon it will be dead and buried.

---

HAUT BRION WHITE

Haut Brion 2015 white (barrel sample) 96p.

Tasted in April 2016. showed as splendidly as 2015 LMHB and the only thing which put HB in the front of LMHB, was more intensity, more depth and longer finish.

Haut Brion 2014 white (barrel sample) 96-97p

Tasted in March 2015. Excellent acidity and depth, rich and complex, very strong aroma of acacia flower and peach, very long aftertaste. Exceptionel wine.

Haut Brion 2013 white (barrel sample) 95-96p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. Strong aroma of green apple and lemon grass, great acidity and complexity, rich and with sophisticated touch. Long aftertaste. Fabulous wine.

Haut Brion 2012 white (barrel sample) 96-97p

Tasted in April 2013. This wine was powerful with strong aroma of apple, citrus and lemon grass, excellent complexity, balance and structure, great length. Excellent stuff.

Haut Brion 2011 white 97p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2014. Consistent notes. It had more intensity and richness than La Mission Haut Brion 2011 white. Breathtaking effort.

Haut Brion 2010 white 99p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2013. Consistent notes. This wine had very intense aromas of pear, pineapple and acacia flower, was formidably knitted together, impeccable balance, stunning acidity and depth and extremely long aftertaste. Fantastic stuff.

Haut Brion 2009 white 97p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. This wine had very intense aromas of pear, pineapple and acacia flower, was formidably knitted together, impeccable balance and long, and caressingly soft aftertaste. Fabulous acidity and depth. More mineral than 2008. Great quality.

Haut Brion 2008 white 97p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2011. Consistent notes. 41% of the harvest into Grand Vin, 55% Semillon + 45% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine showed intense aromas of pear, pineapple and acacia flower, was formidably knitted together, had impeccable balance and length. Fantastic stuff.

Haut Brion 2007 white 98p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2009. Consistent notes. 55% Sauvignon Blanc + 45% Sémillon. Intense aromas of pear, pineapple and acacia flower, formidably knitted together, impeccable balance and long, caressingly soft aftertaste. Exceptional wine!

Haut Brion 2006 white 95p

Tasted five times - last time in February 2010. Consistent notes. This wine was extremely full-bodied with apple and citrus on the nose and palate, rich, refined and sophisticated and with marked acidity. It had exquisite structure and splendid length on the palate. Stupendous effort. 2015-2030.

Haut Brion 2005 white 98p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2015. Consistent notes. Haut Brion belongs to crème de la crème of white Bordeaux. Extremely aromatic and full-bodied with acacia, apple and citrus in large quantities, incredibly refined and sophisticated with fabulous nuance richness and structure, and immensely long on the palate. Exceptional wine for long time keeping - let's say 25+ years.

Haut Brion 2004 white 94p

Tasted twice - last time in October 2007. Consistent notes. Now in bottle. Contains 49% Semillon + 61% Sauvignon Blanc. Very concentrated, fat, sophisticated and powerful wine. Gobs of acacia and lemony flavors. This is a real treat. 15-20 years horizontally.

Haut Brion 2003 white (barrel sample) 93-94p

Tasted in April 2004. Strong and creamy wine that was simply stupendous with superb lemony/acacia flower fruit and zesty acidity, perfect balance and long aftertaste. One to lay down for at least 15 years.

Haut Brion 2002 white 98p

Tasted twice - last time in March 2005. Consistent notes. Fat, creamy fruit with peaches, lemon and honey-melon. Extremely sophisticated with stunning finesse and richness. What a length. A perfect example for how exceptional 2002 vintage is for the white Bordeaux! 2008-2025.

Haut Brion 2001 white 96p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2008. Consistent notes. Almost as thrilling as 2002 vintage. This is a fantastic stuff. Started a bit subdued but after several minutes the gates of heaven opened. Lots of acacia honey and lemon with apples and peaches. What a breed, intensity and structure. An astonishingly complete wine. 2008-2025.

Haut Brion 2000 white 95p

Tasted in September 2003. This wine resembled a lot of 2001 vintage and had the same high quality. 2008-2020.

---

LA MISSION HAUT BRION RED

La Mission Haut Brion 2015 (barrel sample) 95+p.

Tasted in April 2016. 58% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, alcohol reached 15.1%. It had aromatic cherries all-over, very aromatic nose, excellent acidity, striking elegance, sophisticated touch and velvety texture. Great complexity and long finish.  More sweetness in fruit here than in 2014 and this wine can further improve. Beauty wine.

La Mission Haut Brion 2014 (barrel sample) 95p

Tasted in March 2015. A bit lighter and more elegant than Haut Brion. Also here cherry flavor everywhere. Very impressive too.

La Mission Haut Brion 2013 (barrel sample) 93p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. This wine was elegant, soft, round and with silky finish. Soft tannins too but fine complexity and finesse. Fine effort for the vintage.

La Mission Haut Brion 2012 (barrel sample) 93p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2014. Consistent notes. It was lighter than usual, elegant, soft, round and with silky finish. Soft tannins too but fine complexity and finesse. Not up to level of 2011 vintage.

La Mission Haut Brion 2011 94p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2014. Not consistent notes. Clearly more ripe fruit in here than I remember from 2008, more concentrated, very long, rich, great complexity and with fabulous balance. Nose reminds me of incredibly aromatic 2004 vintage. Excellent stuff. Different taste after bottling last year - in September 2014 it tasted a bit closed with tannin upfront.

La Mission Haut Brion 2010 100p

Tasted three - last time in September 2013. Consistent notes. Velvet and silk everywhere, extremely intense on the nose and powerful on the palate, incredibly sophisticated, fantastic complexity, structure and length. Aftertaste lasts for 2 minutes. Sheer class and style. This wine has evolved in perfect way since I tasted it from barrel in March 2011. Paradise in heaven! In September 2013, this wine was a little bit closed.

La Mission Haut Brion 2009 97p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. This wine offered incredibly aromatic, sensual and sophisticated nose with black cherries, coated tongue with black fruit, velvety all over, layers and layers of silky fruit and fat ripe tannin, extremely elegant and sophisticated, fabulous balance. Exceptional wine.

La Mission Haut Brion 2008 95p

Tasted four times - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. 40% of the harvest into Grand Vin, 43% Merlot + 51% Cabernet Sauvignon + 6% Cabernet Franc. Velvety all over, sublime, silky fruit and tannins, extremely elegant and sophisticated, fabulous balance. Exceptional wine.

La Mission Haut Brion 2007 93p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2009. Consistent notes. 43% Merlot + 48% C.Sauvignon + 9% C.Franc, which corresponds precisely to percentage of planted grape varieties in the vineyard! Only 36% of the harvest survived the severe selection for Grand Vin. Deep dark red. Aromatic cherries and blackcurrants on the nose and palate. An extremely elegant and seductive wine with fine structure and length. Finishes soft and round. Splendid effort for the vintage.

La Mission Haut Brion 2006 95p

Tasted four times - last time in October 2009. Consistent notes. La Mission Haut Brion (59% Merlot + 40% Cabernet Sauvignon + 1% Cabernet Franc) delivered great performances in 2006, but wasn't as hedonistic as its 2005 version. This wine was massive, a bit atypical of usual style of LMB, full of dark cherries and blackcurrants added big portions of ripe tannins, densely knitted, rich and with exquisite and silky structure. One to lay down for at least 20 years.

La Mission Haut Brion 2005 99p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2015. Consistent notes. La Mission shined as usual with its silky structure, breathtaking composition, enormous richness, finesse and perfect balance between fruit and tannin, both perfectly ripe. Sensational wine! A legend in winemaking and one to keep for several decades. In September 2015, this wine had chosen to show its tannic "face", but did also show exquisite complexity, depth and sophisticated touch. In deep sleep.

La Mission Haut Brion 2004 94p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2007. Consistent notes. Contains 55% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. This was a very distinguished and sophisticated wine with silky tannins and silky texture. Great intensity and aroma of blueberry fruit. An exceptional piece of wine work. Good for keeping 20-25 years in the cellar.

La Mission Haut Brion 2003 (barrel sample) 92-93p

Tasted in April 2004. Seduced nicely with its elegant and sophisticated approach. Not quite the arch-typical La Mission and for me a bit lighter and less deep than vintages 2001 and 2002. One to keep for 15-18 years from now on.

La Mission Haut Brion 2002 94p

Tasted in September 2003. Doesn't have the sheer power of Haut-Brion, but is nevertheless almost as thrilling as her big brother, Huge amounts of very intense and incredibly aromatic dark cherries, superbly concentrated and long, dominated of new oak. Simply fabulous wine. 2010-2025.

La Mission Haut Brion 2001 95p

Tasted four times - last time in February 2010. Consistent notes. Very aromatic and elegant wine with finesse and sophisticated touch. Extremely sensual and breathtaking wine. This is the real stuff. 2010-2030.

La Mission Haut Brion 2000 100p

Tasted twice times - last time in September 2003. Consistent notes. Whau! Thick and creamy aroma of blueberries, blackberries and dark cherries on the nose and palate. What a structure and length. This wine caress you so beautifully with silky gloves, so you have sweet dreams for the rest of your life. Balance in this wine is simply extraordinary. A masterpiece and truly a legend in winemaking. 2015-2045.

La Mission Haut Brion 1999 92p

Tasted in May 2007. Still young wine, broad-shouldered, robust and tannic. It had fine balance and plenty of cassis/raspberries to work with. This wine needs at least 10 years from now to reveal its fine potential.

La Mission Haut Brion 1998 96p

Tasted in July 2008. Closed at opening - needed 1.5 hour in decanter to show its obvious qualities. Dark and dense, very intense aroma of blackcurrants, leather and cherries, very powerful on the palate with depth and sophisticated touch. It's a beautifully crafted wine with splendid balance and long aftertaste. One to keep for additional 15-20 years.

La Mission Haut Brion 1995 95p

Tasted in February 2010. This wine did as it always does, which means captivating from the very start with its silky texture, sweetness of fruit, stunning balance, striking elegance, fine concentration and sophisticated "look". Wonderful wine for another 20-25 years enjoyment.

La Mission Haut Brion 1994 95p

Tasted in December 2013. This is a great example of meticulous cellar work done in this difficult vintage. Pretty and enchanting nose of cassis, truffles and some leather. Silky and smooth on the palate, medium concentrated, classy, distinguished and sophisticated, sheer elegance. Wonderfully balanced and juicy tannin keeping the wine fresh. 19 years old wine - a teenager - can keep for 20-30 years, no problem. Stunning wine for the vintage!

La Mission Haut Brion 1985 95p

Tasted twice - last time in February 2010. Consistent notes. Whau! The aroma on the nose lifts you up in the air. Truffles, chocolate, mocha and cocoa. It's extremely sophisticated wine in silky package with so many nuances. Multilayered, long and caressing wine. Bordeaux at it's very best!!!

La Mission Haut Brion 1975 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Raspberry drops on the nose, bone-dry tannin on the palate, short. Fruit here was forced in defensive by tannin. This wine was really hard to find out about, but it was obvious, that it hadn't been stored properly.

La Mission Haut Brion 1974 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Medium red. Earthy nose and palate with wet tobacco and smell of forest floor. Nice length on the palate. A mature and uncomplicated wine which should be consumed within next few years.

La Mission Haut Brion 1973 86p

Tasted in September 2006. Magnum bottle. It was similar to LMHB 1969, but less firm in stature. Weather conditions weren't at all optimal to make a wine of high quality. This wine should be consumed immediately.

La Mission Haut Brion 1972 85p

Tasted in September 2006. A pleasant wine with smell of extracted coffee on the nose. Quite light and short on the palate with clear symptoms of advanced age. It showed rapid decline.

La Mission Haut Brion 1971 95p

Tasted twice - last time in October 2015. Consistent notes. Medium red. Plenty of fruit sweetness on the nose with buttermilk, added chocolate powder, deep and attractive. Fat on the palate with mocha and chocolate, long and rich. This wine was immensely nice put together and a fabulous example of La Mission's capacity. It should keep it's extremely fine qualities for another 10 years. Still impressive nine year after (2015).

La Mission Haut Brion 1970 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Light red. Very Cabernet dominated wine, quite light and pleasant on the palate. Even if this wine was more or less free of errors, it hadn't impress at all. Didn't live up to the fine reputation of the vintage.

La Mission Haut Brion 1969 86p

Tasted in September 2006. Pale red. Sweet buttermilk with rusks on the nose, pleasant and round on the palate. Acidity very present but without getting out of control. Quite light but reasonably tasty wine. Fully mature.

La Mission Haut Brion 1968 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Same style as one year older sister, but somewhat fresher, more weight and longer on the palate. Actually some fruit sweetness on the nose. Quite successful wine for the vintage.

La Mission Haut Brion 1966 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Medium red. Quite pleasant smell of forest floor, marked by acidity and light on the palate. There was still som sweetness left in fruit in this wine and it was very pleasant and round. OK effort.

La Mission Haut Brion 1965 84p

Tasted in September 2006. Medium red. Medicinal smell of gauze bandage and precisely so on the palate. Strange wine, which was totally atypical for this property. Ought to know in which corner of the world this wine had been, before it landed on our table.

La Mission Haut Brion 1964 85p

Tasted in September 2006. Quite pale in color. Some fruit sweetness on the nose and pronounced acidity on the palate. Tasted a little of old strawberry compote. This wine is supposed to be one of the better ones for La Mission, so it was obvious that our bottle hadn't experienced very good storage through the years.

La Mission Haut Brion 1962 91p

Tasted twice - last time in July 2014. Not consistent notes. Medium red. Splendid nose of sweet berries added some chocolate. Complex, deep and concentrated on the palate, elegant, gracious and with fine length. Delicious wine, which really has been able to keep beautiful. No signs of advanced age here! 8 years later (2014), this wine seemed fully mature and had a smell, some wine-freaks say is typical of old La Mission, oysters. There were also, extracted coffee beans and fading fruit. I rated it 88p. Probably not a bottle from same source as the one tasted in September 2006.

La Mission Haut Brion 1961 96p

Tasted in September 2006. Close to 1955 La Mission in terms of style and quality, but without same intensity on the nose and palate. There was however no doubt, that this wine was sublime and of extremely high quality. Will last for another 5-7 years in the cellar.

La Mission Haut Brion 1960 92p

Tasted in September 2006. A scoop! Deep red. Delicious sweetness of fruit and intensity on the nose, splendidly composed on the palate with power and sappiness and plenty of tannin. Brilliantly made wine, which absolutely not matched La Mission's bad review of it! Was it the case of difference of quality of this wine in cask prior to bottling? Can be kept for additional 3-5 years.

La Mission Haut Brion 1959 98p

Tasted in September 2006. Barely that extravagant as its big "brother", but there was plenty of wonderful ingredients. Very deep and intense on the nose and palate. Had an evident mark of Cabernet Sauvignon with mint, blackcurrants and leather. Incredibly refined on the palate. Aristocratic and terrifically delicious wine. Still has 10-12 years more life in it.

La Mission Haut Brion 1958 93p

Tasted in September 2006. Deep red. Butter milk in company with cocoa and chocolate on the nose and palate. Splendid harmony between fruit and tannin, very ripe blackcurrants. Fine concentration and length on the palate. This delicious and well-crafted wine did really show La Mission's ability to make sumptuous wines in less good vintages. Can keep like this for another 2-4 years.

La Mission Haut Brion 1957 95p

Tasted in September 2006. Surprisingly very dark color. Catchy aroma of ripe blackcurrants and raspberries on the nose, stunningly well-composed on the palate, delicious and well-balanced. Long aftertaste completed this beauty of a wine. Incredibly impressive wine for the vintage and one to keep for additional 4-6 years.

La Mission Haut Brion 1955 99p

Tasted in September 2006. Belgian bottling. A sophisticated nose, full of sweet cherries and raspberries. Well-composed on the palate with remarkably big concentration, length and aftertaste. Refined and in perfect balance. Wonderful wine of an extremely high quality, which really captivates you. Even if this wine rounded 51 years of age in 2006, it'll easily keep for 6-8 years more.

La Mission Haut Brion 1953 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away. Damn! Yet another badly stored bottle!

La Mission Haut Brion 1952 94p

Tasted in September 2006. French negociant bottling. Medium red. Splendid intensity of ripe blackcurrants on the nose and palate. Concentrated, quite young on the palate, dense, strong structure and long aftertaste. Simply terrific wine, which easily can improve. 6-8 more years in the cellar.

La Mission Haut Brion 1950 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

La Mission Haut Brion 1949 97p

Tasted in September 2006. This wine had fabulous and catching aroma of truffles and dark cherries. Even if palate wasn't as stunning as nose, this wine was extremely well-composed, in fine balance and fresh. Almost a perfect wine, which will keep 4-6 years more.

La Mission Haut Brion 1948 96p

Tasted in September 2006. Deep red. Truffles, refined, plenty of ripe blackcurrants on the nose and palate. Beautifully composed and delicious on the palate. Finished with a bit dry aftertaste but otherwise this wine was a sublime experience. Can last for additional 3-5 years.

La Mission Haut Brion 1947 95p

Tasted in September 2006. Reminded a lot of 1948, but with less intensity and lesser composition. But there was no reason for lament song, because this wine was a true heartbreaker with its delicate approach.

La Mission Haut Brion 1946 91p

Tasted in September 2006. Strangely enough, this vintage isn't mentioned or described on La Mission's homepage! Our bottle wasn't a fake - it looked and tasted like a genuine wine. Had quite delicious aroma of coffee-beans and mocha plus sweet fruit. Acidity pushed a lot, but balance of wine didn't suffer. Fine length on the palate. Successful wine, which apparently didn't travel so much around the world.

La Mission Haut Brion 1945 100p

Tasted in September 2006. Lots of delicious lusciousness on the nose med captivating aroma of cherries. Fabulous intensity and depth. Extremely concentrated and powerful on the palate with enormous richness, perfect balance and stunningly long aftertaste. Unforgettable wine, which despite 61 years on its "birth" certificate, was extremely youngful on the tasting day and what a catch it was! Seemed to be perfectly stored bottle the one we got and if you own such one, it can keep for decades to come.

La Mission Haut Brion 1944 90p

Tasted in September 2006. Dark coca-cola color. Presented itself really nice with fine balance, considerable depth and fine structure. Well-rounded palate with fine aftertaste. Really nice wine for the vintage. Also this vintage isn't mentioned on La Mission's homepage.

La Mission Haut Brion 1943 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Some sweetness on the nose, elegant but also light. Quite harmonious. Tasted of strawberry compote and had fine structure. Nice wine but quite simple. Should be consumed quickly.

La Mission Haut Brion 1942 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

La Mission Haut Brion 1941 92p

Tasted in September 2006. A very positive surprise. Medium red with mocha chocolate on the nose and palate. Fine balance here, but tannin did occasionally made its presence obvious. Surprisingly long on the palate. A really fine wine for the vintage and not at all as bad as property's website describe it. Has still some years to go.

La Mission Haut Brion 1937 82p

Tasted in September 2006. Dark red. Unfortunately, there was very little of life left in this wine. This vintage isn't even mentioned at property's website. Was well on its way to the grave.

La Mission Haut Brion 1935 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

La Mission Haut Brion 1934 83p

Tasted in September 2006. Dark red. Nose of extracted coffee beans and saltiness on the palate. There was almost nothing left of sweetness and fruit in this wine. Like 1937 La Mission it hasn't found the way to history book of the property and deservedly so.

La Mission Haut Brion 1929 0p

Tasted in September 2006. Oxidized/passed away.

La Mission Haut Brion 1928 83p

Tasted in September 2006. Tasted a bit like port wine with pepper. Otherwise same story as La Mission 1934.

La Mission Haut Brion 1927 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Quite intense nose with gooseberries, nice palate. Even if this wine never would find its way to history book, it was quite pleasant to taste.

La Mission Haut Brion 1924 86p

Tasted in September 2006. Smelled of truffles and was light and quite salty. All in all a pleasant and reasonable wine, which didn't make much "noise". There was anyway not that much to be excited about.

La Mission Haut Brion 1921 87p

Tasted in September 2006. Medium red with brownish edge. Nice aroma of vanilla bar and cocoa powder but palate wasn't as impressive; just dry and fragile. Taking both nose and palate in the account, this wine was quite nice and quite enjoyable.

La Mission Haut Brion 1920 83p

Tasted in September 2006. Strawberry compote and old raspberry drops. Dry and anonymous on the palate. This wine was having its last days and a priest had been brought in.

--

LAVILLE HAUT BRION (white La Mission Haut Brion) - beginning with vintage 2009 this wine has changed its name to LA MISSION HAUT BRION BLANC

La Mission Haut Brion white 2015 (barrel sample) 95p

Tasted in April 2016. (72% Semillon + 28% Sauvignon Blanc) was vibrant with excellent acidity and depth, with fine aroma of apple, citrus and lemon grass, great complexity, balance, structure and length. Impressive effort.

La Mission Haut Brion white 2014 (barrel sample) 96p

Tasted in March 2015. Vibrant, aromatic (acacia honey and apple), excellent acidity, sophisticated and with finesse, great complexity and length. Excellent wine for the vintage.

La Mission Haut Brion white 2013 (barrel sample) 94p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2014. This wine was intense with fine aroma of apple, citrus and lemon grass, great complexity, balance, structure and length. Impressive effort.

La Mission Haut Brion white 2012 (barrel sample) 95-96p

Tasted in April 2013. This wine was powerful with strong aroma of apple, citrus and lemon grass, excellent complexity, balance and structure, great length. Excellent stuff.

La Mission Haut Brion white 2011 96p

Tasted in March 2012. This gem of a wine was very intense, pure and refined on the nose, full of apple, pear and lemon grass, penetrating aromas, lot of freshness, great acidity, balance, depth and length. Smooth and caressing aftertaste. Stunning effort for the vintage. In September 2014 this wine was like that - splendid intensity of acacia flower and green apple, splendid balance, complexity and acidity, fine elegance and sophisticated touch. Beautiful wine.

La Mission Haut Brion white 2010 96+p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2013. Consistent notes. This wine (80% Semillon + 20% S. Blanc) displayed fabulous intensity of acacia flower, exquisite balance, complexity and acidity, stunning concentration and aftertaste. Simply beautiful stuff.

La Mission Haut Brion white 2009 96p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. Stunning, complex nose of acacia, pear and citrus. Fabulously refined on palate. Great intensity fruit supported by great acidity and balance. Fat fruity finish. Fabulous stuff.

Laville Haut Brion 2008 95p

Tasted four times - last time in September 2011. Consistent notes. 44% of the harvest into Grand Vin, 79% Semillon + 21% Sauvignon Blanc. It displayed fresh aromas of lemon grass, citrus and apple, great acidity, finesse, elegance and delicate finish. Awesome wine.

Laville Haut Brion 2007 96p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2009. Consistent notes. 83% Sémillon + 17% Sauvignon Blanc. Green yellow. Acacia flower, citrus, apple on the nose, aromatic and very intense. Splendidly balanced on the palate with fresh acidity and in the whole an excellent effort for the vintage.

Laville Haut Brion 2006 94p

Tasted five times - last time in February 2010. Consistent notes. This wine was very aromatic with mango, acacia flower and some peach. Fresh, deep structure, rich, subtle, splendid balance and long aftertaste. Fabulous wine for 15-20 years cellaring.

Laville Haut Brion 2005 96p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2015. Consistent notes. This wine displayed great classy nose of acacia flower and lemon grass, splendid acidity and depth, great complexity, balance, structure and length. Impressive effort.

Laville Haut Brion 2004 94p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2007. Consistent notes. Splendid balance, acacia honey and acacia flower, rich and nuanced on the palate. Very fine and long aftertaste. Formidable wine. One to keep for additional 10 years.

Laville Haut Brion 2003 (barrel sample) 92-93p

Tasted in April 2004. Similar in style to Haut Brion white 2003, but less rich and concentrated. Splendid wine to lay down for 8-12 years.

Laville Haut Brion 2002 97p

Tasted twice - last time in March 2005. Consistent notes. Stunningly intense and aromatic. Splendid structure, refined and long on the palate. Extravagant. A fine example how exceptional 2002 vintage is for the white Bordeaux! 2008-2020.

Laville Haut Brion 2001 95p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2008. Consistent notes. Sublime aromas of acacia, citrus and flower honey. Sublime on palate, sublime in structure and sublime finish. Really fascinating wine. 2008-2020.

Laville Haut Brion 2000 94p

Tasted in September 2003. Less flattering than 2001, but high quality remained intact. Intense fruit (honey melon and peach) and corresponding fine acidity. Striking finesse. This wine had much to offer. 2006-2015.

Laville Haut Brion 1948 99p

Tasted in February 2009. This wine makes me love white Bordeaux even more than I already have. Wonderfully composed with perfect balance between acidity and fruit, extremely elegant and sophisticated and with great length. It's this really exciting touch of sweetness which white Bordeaux gets with age. There's no sign of tiredness, madeira aromas or oxidation. This is heaven and I'm in heaven! White Bordeaux rules!

 

Latest news

DURING TWO WEEKS FROM END OF MARCH TO MID-APRIL 2017, I TASTED APP. 420 BARREL SAMPLES AND HAVE FOUND OUT THAT EARLY PROMISES TURNED INTO GREAT DELIGHT. PLEASE FOLLOW MY ARTICLE IN CHAPTER "VINTAGES, 2016 BORDEAUX".

-----

HOW DID LESSER REDS FARE IN 2014 VINTAGE? WHAT ABOUT LESSER DRY WHITES IN 2015 VINTAGE? PLEASE CHECK OUT "Grand Cercle tasting of 85 red vines in 2014 vintage and 20 white dry wines in 2015 vintage" IN THE CHAPTER "HORISONTAL AND VERTICAL TASTINGS"

-----

THAT'S THE WAY TO CELEBRATE 70TH BIRTHDAY - CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE WITH SAME TITLE IN THE CHAPTER "HORISONTAL AND VERTICAL TASTINGS"

-----

HERE ARE MY TOP TEN WINES OF 2016

1. Montrose 1990 100p 2. Latour 2000 100p 3. Lafleur 2000 100p 4. Le Pin 1990 99p 5. Cheval Blanc 1990 99p 6. Lafite 2000 99p 7. Montrose 2010 99p 8. Yquem 1986 98p 9. Tertre Roteboeuf 2000 98p 10. Certan de May 1982 98p

-----