Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (stained label) 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Blend: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 9%Cabernet Franc
"The 2003 La Mission Haut-Brion is a large-scaled wine offering a distinctive bouquet of scorched earth, black cherry liqueur, and hints of blackberries, blueberries, graphite, and smoke. Ripe, heady, full-bodied, soft, and revealing considerable complexity, low acidity, and a broad, expansive mouthfeel, it should drink well in 2-3 years and last for two decades. Its 13% plus alcohol is normal for this hot year."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
"Aromas of blackberry, tobacco and hints of oak. Full-bodied, with lots of silky and round tannins and a long finish. Lots going on here. Layered and powerful. Best after 2010."
Wine Spectator - "Aromas of blackberry, tobacco and hints of oak. Full-bodied, with lots of silky and round tannins and a long finish. Lots going on here. Layered and powerful. Best after 2010. "
James Suckling - "Very ripe Cabernet aromas in this, with hints of sweet tobacco, wood, and cigar box. Full bodied, with wonderful fruit and a firm finish. Tight, and not giving as much as it has now. Pull the cork after 2013. Find the wine."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 La Mission Haut-Brion shows more creme de cassis, plenty of cedar wood, melted licorice and charcoal in a medium to full-bodied wine. It is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Rustic tannins in the back knock down the ultimate pleasure, and the point score, ever so slightly, but there’s no doubting the complex, perfumey, noble aromatics this wine has managed to attain despite the staggering heat and drought in June, July and August. This has reached full maturity, but should hold nicely for another 7-10 years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Medium red-ruby. Raspberry, smoked meat and truffle on the nose, with a slightly liqueur-like ripeness. Dense, fat and seamless; unusually soft and lush for a young La Mission, with compelling sweetness. But there are also huge, ripe tannins underneath. Finishes very sweet, suave and long. "
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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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.