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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • JS99
  • RP98
  • WS97
  • WE97
  • W&S97
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The color of La Mission Haut-Brion is very dark. One can surmise by its depth that the wine is extremely dense. The nose has great precision. We find there the aromas of red fruit, earth, smoke, and liquorish. With the evidence of this complexity in the mouth one notes the first impression which is the surprising contrast between the concentration of the wine and its smoothness. It possesses an enveloping body, the tannins seeming almost creamy. The wine expands taking a greater dimension on the palate while seeming never ending. The equilibrium of this wine is a great trait of La Mission Haut-Brion 2005 where the intensity of the tannins is counterbalanced by an extraordinary freshness. This is one of the great vintages of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 99
James Suckling
This is very rich and layered for La Mission with ultra-polished tannins yet velvety and beautiful in texture. It's fully-bodied and full of character that shows plums, berries, wet earth and oyster shell flavors that are so unique to reds from this estate. Superb quality.
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another massive effort, the inky/purple-colored 2005 La Mission-Haut-Brion is broodingly backward and foreboding. The aromatic profile offers hints of charcoal, freshly laid hot tar, truffles, graphite and black fruits. Full-bodied, powerful, tannic and almost painfully extracted and concentrated with tremendous structure, good acidity and a massive finish, this infant wine is largely unchanged since I first tasted it from bottle. If everything comes together in 10-15 years, this brilliant 2005 should merit a triple digit score. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050+.
Rating: 98+
WS 97
Wine Spectator
The Indian spices and blackberry on the nose are so enticing and inspiring, leading to a full-bodied palate, with very polished tannins that caress. Goes on and on as this builds on the palate, with a mineral and berry aftertaste. For long-term aging. Best after 2015. 5,665 cases made.
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Dark and dense, but with such opulent fruit, this is a year when La Mission shows its softer, richer side by comparison with neighbor Haut-Brion. There is spice and exotic and generous red fruits to give with the concentration. It has great power, but it also has a velvet structure.
W&S 97
Wine & Spirits
A glorious vintage of La Mission, this young wine buzzes with energy in the mouth. All of the flavors, whether herbal, earthy or vinous, seem to refer back to the tiny pebbles of this terroir. The texture is silken, the finish exclamatory and grand. It has a racy beauty, the kind of effortless strength Nureyev's choreography projects in Le Corsaire. One of the wines of the vintage, this has a high proportion of merlot in the blend (69 percent). It's more accessible than Haut-Brion, but still has the stamina for long-term aging.
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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion

Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion

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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, France - Other regions
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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.

JOB96216_2005 Item# 96216