2010 La Mission Haut Brion



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Average critic rating : 96.25 points

98

98

A strong candidate for a perfect score in about 15 years, the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion could well turn out to be a modern-day version of their 1955. Sadly (or maybe fortunately) for me, I’m not old enough to have tasted the 1955 in 1958 from bottle, but this wine could also be an update on the more modern 2000 which, of course, I know well and actually own. This full-bodied, colossal giant of a wine is one of the goliaths of the vintage. It may well have the highest level of natural alcohol for any wine from the Left Bank of Bordeaux (15.1%) and has the definite potential to be a 50- to 75-year wine. Dense purple, it offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal embers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur along with massive concentration, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel and a monumental finish that goes well past a minute, which I think might be a record for a young Bordeaux. Keep in mind that the 2009, which I gave three digits, came in at 14.7%, but the pH of the 2010 is lower, giving the wine a freshness and precision that is remarkable. The final blend was 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and – unlike the Chapelle de la Mission, which has 26% Cabernet Franc – there’s only 1% Cabernet Franc in the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion. This is a wine for those of you with youth on your side as well as patience. It will need a good decade of cellaring. An amazing wine. Anticipated maturity: 2024-2075+. Wine Advocate.February, 2013

92-94

92-94

The La Mission Haut-Brion, a blend of 37% Merlot, 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, 3.57pH and knocking in at....15.1% alcohol. It has a wonderful nose with crushed stone, black plum and graphite, with an almost Pauillac-like personality. The palate is medium-bodied and quite structured on the entry, the Cabernet in the driving seat lending cedar and graphite. Linear, strict, brilliant focused with good tension on the finish, you have to give to Jean-Philippe Delmas that the alcohol is cunningly disguised, but on the other hand, how about drinking more the a glass? That remains to be seen, hence my caution. Tasted March 2011. Neal Martin erobertparker.com

95-96

95-96

This is very perfumed for La Mission with dark berry, light chocolate, flowers, and minerals. Full and silky with fine tannins and a bright and tangy finish. Intense and powerful. Refined. Long. jamessuckling.com

95-98

95-98

This is loaded, with a torrent of pastis, crushed plum, blueberry and boysenberry fruit, backed by tarry tannins and a long, spice- and graphite-filled finish. Big, but very, very sleek. Highest percentage of Cabernet ever for La Mission (62 percent). Tasted non-blind. James Molesworth, winespectator.com

18

18

37% Merlot, 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc. 47% grand vin (compared to 50% in 2009). Very deep crimson – glowing. Scented and really quite muted and even austere on the nose. And then very fleshy and even rather gorgeous on the palate. Wonderfully refined tannins and quite broad fruit but there is a nub of something a little green in the fruit itself? Demanding on the taster – not least because this will need long ageing. Nothing hot about this. Great freshness and sweetness. The acidity nicely counterbalances the alcohol. jancisrobinson.com

19

19

Dense black floral fruit, great depth and ripeness, great structure and elegance, a superb La Mission. Drink 2018-40. Steven Spurrier, decanter.com

18.5

18.5

An indigo-beryl centre to purple amethyst gives a faint jasmine scent and childhood memories of mown grass. In its meaty substantial body and structure there are many dark fruits, bonfires of hawthorn and oxidised minerals. The alcohol level is 15%! It will be interesting to drink by 2020 but very impressive by 2050.

95-98

95-98

La Mission Haut Brion, is produced from a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and a dollop of Cabernet Franc. The wine reached 15.1% natural alcohol with pH levels of 3.67. This picture is very different than what we saw in 2009 which was made from equal parts Merlot and cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc. 2010 is slightly higher in alcohol as the 2009 reached 14.7. Tasters who go by the numbers might have problems with the wine, but there was no sensation of heat. Everything is in balance. This is a contender for the highest concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon in the history of La Mission Haut Brion. This is due to a combination of the perfect levels of ripeness reached in the Cabernet Sauvignon and the draught plagued Merlot which had problems ripening correctly. . 2010 La Mission Haut Brion explodes with earth, minerals, cassis, burning embers, truffle and blackberry scents. This opens to a dense, concentrated, full bodied, tannic wine. This powerful La Mission Haut Brion is packed with mocha, cassis, blackberry and spice. Stylistically, this is a big, powerful, masculine La Mission Haut Brion that will require serious cellar time. winecellarinsider.com

98-100

98-100

Deep ruby in colour, with a nose of vibrant blackberries, cherries, plums, cedar and lovely floral aromatics, this is a perfect La Mission, with an amazing depth of flavour and very long length. At 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, La Mission is continuing its swing, begun in 2007, away from using a majority of Merlot. This vintage of La Mission is vibrant yet serious and the flavours are layered and complex, resulting in a great expressive wine with the intensity and depth to age for many decades. A real beauty and one of the best La Missions in recent history - much better than the 2009. asianpalate.com

18-19

18-19

Super-refined, seemless cassis and plum fruit and with beautifully integrated tannins. Wonderful purity and length. Just an absolute joy to taste. This will age brilliantly.



Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 09/02/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

La Mission Haut Brion 2010
-£2,647.00     (-37.61%) Latest price:  £4,391.00
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La Mission Haut-Brion: The Importance

Located in the Bordeaux appellation of Pessac-Léognan, La Mission Haut-Brion has been producing exceptional quality wine for many centuries, often rivalling its first growth neighbour Château Haut-Brion in both quality and desirability.

 

La Mission Haut Brion is sometimes overlooked, as it was not included in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. However it is a firm favourite of those in the know, commanding similar prices to its first-growth neighbour and earning much critical praise. Jancis Robinson calls it “the quintessential insider's wine…”, while Robert Parker describes this estate as “certainly a wine of first-growth quality, brilliantly made and extremely long-lived,” adding that “I have more bottles of La Mission-Haut-Brion in my private collection than any other wine in the world… La Mission has long been one of the greatest wines one could ever possibly drink as well as one of the most remarkably consistent.”

 

Parker’s stance is shared by fine wine exchange Liv-Ex, who rated La Mission Haut Brion as a First Growth in their updated ranking of Bordeaux wines in 2009.

 

Much like Château Latour, La Mission Haut-Brion has long been celebrated for its ability to create the highest quality of wine in the most disappointing of vintages. During one tasting which included some particularly tricky vintages, Jancis Robinson remarked that some of the most dismal vintages of La Mission performed far better than most other Bordeaux wines produced in those vintages.

 

La Mission Haut Brion: The Insight

La Mission Haut-Brion is consistently extremely highly rated by critics, and many vintages have received a perfect 100 points from Robert Parker. Some of the best more recent vintages have been 1982, 1989, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Writing about the perfectly rated 2009 vintage, Parker  writes that, “perhaps the two most singular aspects of this wine are its surreal aromatics and its ability to combine power with sublime complexity and harmony.”

 

While the château of La Mission is directly across the road from Haut-Brion, the vineyards of the two estates are further apart, and while most of the vines of Haut-Brion are in Pessac, the majority of the vines for La Mission are in Talence, and the difference in terroir and vine density between the two explains the difference in style between those two wines.

 

A white wine called La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is produced at the estate and considered one of the best dry white wines in Bordeaux. Until the 2009 vintage the wine was known as Laville-Haut-Brion. This wine often rivals the exceptional white wine produced at Haut-Brion, and in youth displays the aromatics found in Gewürztraminers which then develops to deep nuttiness and richness found in the greatest sweet Bordeaux wines. La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc also has a second wine called La Clarté de Haut-Brion, which is shared with Château Haut-Brion and serves as the second wine for their white wine and is thus a blend of grapes from both estates.

 

La Mission Haut-Brion also produces a second wine called La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion. This wine is more approachable in youth, although it remains of exceptional quality, concentration and depth. Robert Parker says of this wine that those “looking for excellent value should seek out the limited production second wine of La Mission Haut-Brion, La Chapelle. It can be very fine and certainly ranks as one of the best second wines in all of Bordeaux.” The vineyard at La Mission Haut-Brion is planted to largely equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with approximately 7% Cabernet Franc. 3.5 hectares of vines at La Mission are reserved for white grape varieties, and this land is planted to approximately 62% Semillon and 38% Sauvignon Blanc.

 

La Mission Haut Brion: The Background

The history of this estate goes back to the 16th century when the brother in law of the founder of Château Haut-Brion, Jean de Pontac, Arnaut de Lestonnac started producing wine at La Mission. It was bequeathed by the Lestonnac family to the Congregation of the Mission, giving the name of the estate as it is now known. Throughout the 18th century the Pères Lazaristes, worked at the property in order to restore it and during this time, the property became well known partly through the patronage of the Maréchal de Richelieu, the Archbishop of Bordeaux, who is claimed to have said of the wine produced at La Mission Haut Brion, “If God forbade drinking, would he have made this wine so good?” In 1815, the estate was purchased by the Chiapella family, who had been involved in Bordeaux for some time and had managed Château Cos D’Estournel.

 

In 1919, the property was acquired by the Woltner family, a sale which most people consider as marking a change in winemaking at the property, with wine produced becoming much more concentrated and long-lived than before. In 1983 the property was sold to the Dillon family who owned Château Haut-Brion, and these two great estates are now both run by the same team. A huge amount was invested into the property, with a replanting programme in the vineyards and the château and winemaking facilities being modernised. Modernisation and renovation have been carried out continuously, with the latest works being completed in 2007, and more work no doubt to be carried out in the future. Both La Mission Haut-Brion and Chateau Haut-Brion are currently managed by Jean-Philippe Delmas, who was the third generation of his family to manage Haut-Brion and the second to manage at La Mission.



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