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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 2010

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • JS100
  • RP98
  • WS97
  • WE97
  • RP100
  • WS98
  • WE98
  • JS100
  • RP99
  • WE98
  • WE97
  • JS96
  • RP95
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Winemaker Notes

The striking, deep-purple color of this wine is reminiscent of a ripe aubergine. It has an intense, complex bouquet, blending hints of oak with blackcurrant, licorice, and chocolate. The nose reveals a seemingly endless range of aromas. On the palate, the breadth and expressivity of this wine is immediately impressive. The tannins are flavorful and its structure is poised, buoyed up by incredible freshness. To take an architectural metaphor, 2010 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. Its structure is immediately perceptible but, although it is obviously a substantial construction, it gives an impression of lightness and elegance. These contrasts make it easier to understand the challenge that faced the architects in both cases: to achieve perfect balance.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 100
James Suckling

This is crazy. The nose is so unique with the iodine, stones and currant aromas with wet earth and mushroom. Aromas like this don't usually come out until 10 years or so in the bottle. Classic nose for this estate. Full-bodied, with an amazing palate of firm yet polished tannins and a solid palate. So dense and gorgeous. It is really stunning. Try in 2020.

RP 98
The Wine Advocate

A strong candidate for a perfect score in about 15 years, the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion could well turn out to be a modern-day version of their 1955. Sadly (or maybe fortunately) for me, I’m not old enough to have tasted the 1955 in 1958 from bottle, but this wine could also be an update on the more modern 2000 which, of course, I know well and actually own. This full-bodied, colossal giant of a wine is one of the goliaths of the vintage. It may well have the highest level of natural alcohol for any wine from the Left Bank of Bordeaux (15.1%) and has the definite potential to be a 50- to 75-year wine. Dense purple, it offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal embers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur along with massive concentration, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel and a monumental finish that goes well past a minute, which I think might be a record for a young Bordeaux. Keep in mind that the 2009, which I gave three digits, came in at 14.7%, but the pH of the 2010 is lower, giving the wine a freshness and precision that is remarkable. The final blend was 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and – unlike the Chapelle de la Mission, which has 26% Cabernet Franc – there's only 1% Cabernet Franc in the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion. This is a wine for those of you with youth on your side as well as patience. It will need a good decade of cellaring. An amazing wine. Anticipated maturity: 2024-2075+.
Rating: 98+

WS 97
Wine Spectator

Intense and engaging. Despite showing lots of heft and tarry grip, the singed apple wood and alder notes are well-defined in this red, accentuating a core of roasted fig, blackberry coulis and macerated red and black currant fruit. The long, bramble-edged finish sports showy ganache and Lapsang souchong tea notes, while the structure refuses to yield until everything has finally played out. Muscular and vivacious. Best from 2019 through 2040.

WE 97
Wine Enthusiast

A beautifully dense, ripe wine, its intense acidity balanced by an opulent structure and gorgeous fruits. The texture is smooth and velvety, while never losing sight of the powerful structure. This elegant and powerful wine will age for many years.

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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion

Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion

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Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
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.

A picturesque Mediterranean nation with a rich wine culture dating back to ancient times, Greece has so much more to offer than just retsina. Between the mainland and the country’s many islands, a wealth of wine styles exist, made mostly from Greece’s plentiful indigenous varieties. Still suffering for centuries after Ottoman rule, the modern wine industry did not truly begin here until the late 20th century, after a mass influx of newly trained winemakers and investments in winemaking technology. The climate—generally hot Mediterranean—can vary a bit with latitude and elevation, and is often moderated by cool maritime breezes. Drought can be an issue during the long, dry summers, often necessitating irrigation.

Over 300 indigenous grapes have been identified throughout Greece, and though not all of them are suitable for wine production, future decades will likely see a significant revival of many of these native varieties. Assyrtiko, the crisp, saline variety of the island of Santorini, is one of the most important and popular white varieties, alongside Roditis, Robola, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Muscat is also widely grown for both sweet and dry wines. Prominent red varieties include soft and fruity Agiorghitiko, native to Nemea; Macedonia’s savory, tannic Xinomavro; and Mavrodaphne, used commonly to produce a Port-like fortified wine in the Peloponnese.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

LOA122448_2010 Item# 122448

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