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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016

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1500ML / 14% ABV
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1500ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion wine is definitely bewitching. It possesses a great intensity that will delight you with its complexity (a mixture of red fruits) and the signature of its terroir in its empyreumatic notes (Havana cigars, chocolate, roasting, cedar wood and so on). On the palate, the wine is spherical and generous without a trace of aggressiveness. It lengthens on silky tannins, making this wine so obvious that the taster succumbs to its charm.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 La Mission Haut-Brion is a blend of 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, it is just a little muted to begin, soon unfurling to reveal slowly growing scents of crushed blackcurrants, black cherries, dark chocolate and candied violets with nuances of crushed rocks, tobacco leaf, forest floor and fragrant earth plus a hint of bergamot. Medium-bodied and exquisitely elegant, the palate offers perfectly ripe, fine-grained tannins and tons of freshness with layer upon layer of perfumed fruit and a very long, ferrous-laced finish.
Rating: 98+
D 98
Decanter
This is a wonderful wine, it’s absolutely precise, finely wrought and gorgeously balanced between richness and elegance, with notes of damson, black cherry, slate and rosemary. Silky soft tannins highlight the concentration of the fruit and the grilled oak notes that are La Mission’s signature, with a fresh core that stretches out the palate. A low pH gives tension through the palate, and is highly seductive. No Cabernet Franc this year.
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 La Mission Haut-Brion checks in as a Merlot-heavy blend, 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. About as pure and seamless (yet sexy) as they come in the vintage, it offers awesome notes of dried flowers, sweet currants, cedarwood, forest floor, and exotic spices. With a flawless texture, medium to full body, and ultra-fine tannins, this beauty builds incrementally on the palate with terrific mid-palate depth and a stunning finish. It’s sexier and more charming compared to the more backward Haut Brion, yet I suspect it will age just as long.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This is super vivid, offering cassis, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry compote flavors that bristle with energy while a mouthwatering frame of anise and apple wood adds electric energy. This is borderline rambunctious but it's bridled well enough and when the fruit and wood sides mesh fully, this will be a rock star. Best from 2025 through 2040.
JS 97
James Suckling
Regal wine, showing alluringly ripe and dark plums, that carries a wealth of complexity in its DNA - fine spices, leaves, graphite, violets and more. The palate has very precise drive and super focused style and delivers authoritative tannins that are arranged in linear fashion. Power with elegance. Try from 2024.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
As so often with this estate, this is a generous, opulent wine. This year a strong tannic element gives the wine a good structure. Smoky, textured and powerful, it needs many years to mature. Do not drink this wine before 2026.
Cellar Selection
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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion

Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion

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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, France
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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.
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Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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