2012 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted blind at the Southwold 2012 tasting, the 2012 La Mission Haut-Brion showed brilliantly. It has an intense, floral bouquet with rose petals and strawberry preserve, hints of sous-bois and tobacco gently unfolding in the glass, gaining more earthiness as it aerates in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, broad and spicy with hints of bell pepper suggesting high quality Cabernet Franc. It fans out gloriously with a sustained tertiary finish that completes what is a wondrous La Mission Haut-Brion from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. (NM)
One of the clear wines of the vintage, the 2012 La Mission Haut-Brion shows off a vertical sense of structure along with imposing tannins and serious depth. The flavors are dark, bold and extremely vivid. Dark red cherry, smoke, grilled herbs, graphite and blackberry jam are some of the many notes that come alive on the finish. This brooding La Mission needs a few years to settle down after which it will offer spectacular drinking for several decades. In a word: magnificent! (AG)
*** Cellar Selection *** This is closed up, dry and tough on the outside. But you can feel the rich weight and the dark tannins along with the powerful structure. That makes this wine both replete with a firm character and also full of generous, concentrated black fruits. It's a powerful wine, ready for good aging; drink from 2022. (RV)
Gorgeous aromas of stones, currants and blueberries. Very aromatic. Mesmerizing. Full body, silky tannins and a long finish. Dense and rich. Layered. Earth and bark character. Lots of structure for the vintage. Better in 2019.
The rigid tar and bramble frame should eventually meld with the core of plum, blackberry and macerated black currant fruit, featuring ample energy and a graphite note through the finish. Just a little bit of patience required here. Best from 2018 through 2025. (JM)
Tasted blind. Straightforward crimson. Very aromatic and then sweet and flattering. Still quite edgy tannins there in abundance, with the fruit only just trumping them. Long and impressive with just a hint of dark chocolate on the finish. Pretty smart with a long way to go. Very sweet but vibrant. 18+/20 Points
La Mission-Haut-Brion has a long and illustrious history in Graves and in some eyes is the greatest estate in Bordeaux. The estate has an unbelievable record of great wines stretching back over the past century and today has a reputation for pure excellence. Robert Parker believes the quality is that of a First Growth. The vines are planted to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Since 1983 the Clarence Dillon family, owners of Chateau Haut Brion have owned and managed La Mission now under the expert guidance of Jean-Philippe Delmas, the third generation in his family to manage the properties of the Dillon Family.