So, if it’s my birthday celebration, there is a juicy ribeye & some old(er) Claret.
My only disappointment with this bottle is as good as it is, there are better things still down the road.
The nose reveals classic Claret. There are earthy, funky fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, black plum, baked strawberries with shades of raspberries. Steeped fruit teas, limestone minerals, dry crushed rocks, stones, black, rich earth, clay, dry herbs, dark berry cola, cedar, leather, not quite fresh tobacco, underbrush, graphite, gentle, dark spice, slight peppery notes, clove, touch of nutmeg & cinnamon & vanillin, anise to black licorice, eucalyptus notes with fresh & slightly candied florals of, red, dark, blue, purple & violets.
The body is medium full with rounded, nicely resolved, tarry tannins. The structure, tension, length and balance are really singing. It would be good to have another 2001 LMHB in ten years. While 2001 wasn’t a critically acclaimed vintage, I think LMHB over performed the vintage. As well, it followed a grand 2000 vintage which, handicapped it from the start. Ripe; blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, black plum, baked strawberries, bright cherries, rhubarb, figs, with shades of raspberries. Steeped fruit teas, limestone minerals, dry crushed rocks, stones, black, rich earth, clay, dry top soil, dry herbs, dark berry cola, cedar, leather, not quite fresh tobacco, underbrush, graphite, gentle, dark spice with soft heat, slight peppery notes, clove, touch of nutmeg & cinnamon & vanillin, anise to black licorice, eucalyptus notes with fresh & slightly candied florals of, red, dark, blue, purple & violets. The acidity is excellent...like a gentle rain shower. The long finish is elegance defined, extremely well balanced ending in soft, round, dry, dusty tannins with beautiful spice.
Photos of; Chateau La Mission Haut Brion & estate vine, beautiful barrel room, pond & Roman columns and the back vow of the Chateau.
Please indulge me while I post some history on this grand producer. As much as I love the wine, I love the history & people that do the hard work to bring us such great wines.
Chateau La Mission Haut Brion is not quite as old as Chateau Haut Brion. However, they are opposite side of the road neighbors. La Mission Haut Brion dates back to the late 16th century. The property came into being after it was purchased by Jean de Pontac in 1533. US winery history is a baby compared to France.
In 1607, the estate changed hands. It was inherited by Ms. Olive de Lestonnac. What an inheritance!
In 1815, something rare happened. Chateau La Mission Haut Brion became the property of an American owner, the Chiapelle family. At the time, the family was already involved in the Bordeaux wine trade. In fact, they knew about the business as they had managed a myriad of different estates including Chateau Cos d’ Estournel.
La Mission Haut Brion continued to change hands until it was finally sold to another American family, the Woltner’s. Frederic Woltner purchased La Mission Haut Brion in 1919. The also became owners on Howell Mountain.
It changed hands one final time in 1983 when it was purchased by Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owner of neighboring, Chateau Haut Brion. They renovated the entire property, starting with replanting the vineyards which, was completed in 1987.
The 26 hectare vineyard of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion is planted to; 45.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43.8% Merlot and 10.4% Cabernet Franc. 3.5 hectares of vines are reserved for the production of the white Bordeaux.
To produce the red wine of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, the wine is vinified in large, 180 hectoliter, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats and aged in 100% new, French oak for an average of 22 months. The annual production of La Mission Haut Brion averages between 6,000 and 7,000 cases per year. — 12 hours ago
Tasted blind. Dark reddish brown color, port-like in color and in the nose. Notes of raisins, molasses, tobacco. What is this? While it seems like it could be Madeira, the impact in the mouth and the tastes in no way resemble that. Someone threw out the guess that it could be really old Bordeaux. Yep. Drinking some history tonight! — 20 days ago
What a nose. Iron, brambles, thyme. Condrieu-like acidity, plums, tobacco. This is kind of endless in complexity. Lush but really savory and supple with acidity and sweetness percent balanced. This is ridiculously good. — 21 days ago
Apparently got from tinderbox! Drinking during coronavirus quarantine. To me, dry fruity and grapy so very earthy￼. Sophisticated. Really like. A wonderful surprise to find in the rack. ￼ — 4 days ago
A dry but not astringent finish follows abstraction in the mouth. Maybe a little dry for an Alsatian Pinot, but this is beautifully crafted. — 9 days ago