Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - "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."
Wine Enthusiast - "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."
James Suckling - "Fascinating aromas of crushed berry, plums, sweet tobacco and stones. Full bodied, with chewy and velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is very structured and rich with a bright and tangy acidity. Needs time to come together, obviously. Try after 2015."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-purple. Expressive aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, underbrush, smoke and minerals. Juicy, spicy and on the lean side, but with excellent firmness and lift to the dark berry, tar and tobacco flavors. This gained considerable mid-palate sweetness and pliancy with air. But almost austere today on the minerally finish, which features ripe tannins and impressively long, juicy fruit.
Wine Spectator - "Tangy and lightly firm, with cherry pit, pomegranate and blackberry notes, followed by sage and tobacco. There's nice focus, with a tarry hint for added length on the finish. Rather tight now, with the edgy feel holding sway, but this should settle into itself nicely enough. Best from 2013 through 2018."
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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion Winery
In 1664, Madame de Lestonnac bequeathed the domaine of La Mission Haut-Brion to the Peres Lazaristes, a congregation founded by Saint Vincent de Paul. The "good fathers" worked to restore their property to its rightful worth. After them, the Chiapella family (owners in the 19th century) and Woltner family (owners between 1919 and 1983) never stopped improving the vineyard and modernizing the cellars. Since 1983, the Dillon family, already owner of Chateau Haut-Brion, continues the same policy under the presidency of H.R.H. Prince Robert of Luxembourg. View all Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold