Like a lot of wines in this underrated vintage, the 2008 La Mission was one of the great bargains of recent vintages. Its healthy blue/purple color is followed by aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, licorice, truffles, underbrush and forest floor. The scorched earthy/smoky character of this estate’s terroir has not yet emerged. Medium to full-bodied and concentrated with good acidity, freshness and delineation, this is a big wine for the vintage, but also very classic in its balance of tannin, acidity and extract. It will benefit from another 5-7 years of cellaring and should keep for three decades. The final blend was 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.
Dark and concentrated, this is a powerhouse of flavors and dense tannins. It’s a wonderful combination of velvet texture and dry structure. Layered, complex, wood and spice already showing signs of integration, but certainly set for the long haul.
La Mission Haut Brion is from the Pessac-Leognan appellation. In 1664, the estate was acquired by the Congregation of the Mission; the fathers in this group fancied themselves viticultural specialists, committed to finding and planting according to the land. A devotee to the wines, Marshal de Richelieu, once said "If God forbade drinking, would he have made such good wine?" The critics are also fans, evidenced by Robert Parker awarding the Bordeaux red blend with 100 points on the 2000, 2009 and 2010 vintages. Stylistically, these wines are rich, oaky and powerful with ripe, succulent fruit and good acidity. The wines age well, but need at least 10 years in the cellar before drinking. Vintages to look out for: 1990, 1982, 1961 and 1945 1929, 1947, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1975, 1978, 1982, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2009.
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