Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend

9.445 ratings
9.410 pro ratings
Pessac-Léognan, Graves, Bordeaux, France
Red Bordeaux Blend
Chili & Hot Spicy, Potato, White Rice, Mushrooms, Pasta, Pork, Salami & Prosciutto, Pungent Cheese, Lamb, Tomato-Based, Onion, Shallot, Garlic, Beef, Hard Cheese, Venison
Top Notes For
Shay A
9.5

When I purchased this five years ago, it was without a doubt the nicest bottle of Bordeaux I owned. 2001 was a good vintage for certain producers, and with Haut Brion being my favorite first growth, I wanted to have one of these with some age to see how they evolve. I slow ox’ed for 1-2hrs, consumed from bottle over the next three hours, and saved the last quarter for the next day.

Amongst quite a few first growths (and a ‘94 and ‘04 Haut Brion) this held its own. Compared to HB, it doesn’t have that brooding power and deep fruit core as intensely, but it wasn’t too far behind. More red fruit/black cherry than the dominant black I normally get with HB. Potpourri, baked black cherries, and cherry pipe tobacco showed strong on both days. No reductive funk to blow off. Faint notes of mocha, scorched earth and peppered strip, but it meshes with the cassis and grippy herbal tannic finish. What I didn’t expect was how vibrant the acidity was on both days. A beautiful example of high quality Bordeaux, and one I wish I had more of.

When I purchased this five years ago, it was without a doubt the nicest bottle of Bordeaux I owned. 2001 was a good vintage for certain producers, and with Haut Brion being my favorite first growth, I wanted to have one of these with some age to see how they evolve. I slow ox’ed for 1-2hrs, consumed from bottle over the next three hours, and saved the last quarter for the next day.

Amongst quite a few first growths (and a ‘94 and ‘04 Haut Brion) this held its own. Compared to HB, it doesn’t have that brooding power and deep fruit core as intensely, but it wasn’t too far behind. More red fruit/black cherry than the dominant black I normally get with HB. Potpourri, baked black cherries, and cherry pipe tobacco showed strong on both days. No reductive funk to blow off. Faint notes of mocha, scorched earth and peppered strip, but it meshes with the cassis and grippy herbal tannic finish. What I didn’t expect was how vibrant the acidity was on both days. A beautiful example of high quality Bordeaux, and one I wish I had more of.

May 23rd, 2022
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.5

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 vines, 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.

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 vines, 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.

Mar 28th, 2020
Andrew S

This was a perfect, straight down the middle LMHB. Drinking on the young side but the flavors are open to an extent. Perhaps surpassed by 1988 and 1989 only because of age.

This was a perfect, straight down the middle LMHB. Drinking on the young side but the flavors are open to an extent. Perhaps surpassed by 1988 and 1989 only because of age.

Jan 23rd, 2019
Alex Jones

Marketing/Development Kunni/Westerly Wines

8.9

Was good but thinner than expected and seemed to loose fruit as opened. Mid weight and showed some dark fruit and herbs and at least some tannic left to think about holding rest.

Was good but thinner than expected and seemed to loose fruit as opened. Mid weight and showed some dark fruit and herbs and at least some tannic left to think about holding rest.

Nov 13th, 2017
Chris MacLean

Full, meaty and rich. Dark fruit and generous minerality. Expansive and broad on the palate. This is in a great spot.

Full, meaty and rich. Dark fruit and generous minerality. Expansive and broad on the palate. This is in a great spot.

Feb 1st, 2017
Jörgen Lindström Carlvik

Owner, Brix Wine Consultants

9.3

Let's start negative; it lacks mid palate weight and width. Everything else about this wine is all positive! Lovely, juicy acidity, sweet and seductive tannins, amazingly pure and precise red fruits and above all it's caressing finish. Drinkability can always be spelled La Mission.

Let's start negative; it lacks mid palate weight and width. Everything else about this wine is all positive! Lovely, juicy acidity, sweet and seductive tannins, amazingly pure and precise red fruits and above all it's caressing finish. Drinkability can always be spelled La Mission.

Jul 9th, 2016
Robert Cunningham

Wine Educator DeVinimus, Wine Workshop

8.9

Lacking depth.

Lacking depth.

Mar 30th, 2016
Matt Duncan

Whole peppercorn, cinnamon stick, blackberry, coconut husk. Coffee mid palate appears. Red velvet cake finish. Moderate sediment. Invigorating menthol finish. Good decanting is required. Plenty of youthfulness. A real treat!

Whole peppercorn, cinnamon stick, blackberry, coconut husk. Coffee mid palate appears. Red velvet cake finish. Moderate sediment. Invigorating menthol finish. Good decanting is required. Plenty of youthfulness. A real treat!

Jun 5th, 2015
Richard Jennings

Another delightful end-of-the-year wine.

Another delightful end-of-the-year wine.

Jan 2nd, 2014
Shane Walker

Clear, deep ruby colour. Clean, pronounced black currants, confectionery, cassis and truffle aromas. Dry with high acidity and tannins that are beautifully balanced. A medium bodied wine with intense and complex flavours of black currants, vanilla, cassis coupled with a long finish make this an outstanding wine to accompany our fantastically well cooked Chateaubriand.

Clear, deep ruby colour. Clean, pronounced black currants, confectionery, cassis and truffle aromas. Dry with high acidity and tannins that are beautifully balanced. A medium bodied wine with intense and complex flavours of black currants, vanilla, cassis coupled with a long finish make this an outstanding wine to accompany our fantastically well cooked Chateaubriand.

Feb 17th, 2019