2011 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
Tightly wound, with a good chalky vibrancy and taut red currant, damson plum and bitter cherry notes that show ample length. Tasted non-blind.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The small production (4,150 cases) of 2011 La Mission-Haut-Brion displays the nobility and complexity of this great terroir. Burning embers, scorched earth, blueberry, black currant, licorice and spice aromas jump from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored wine. With full body (atypical for a 2011), but no hard edges, this opulent, multidimensional, fleshy, rich, stunningly long, well-balanced La Mission is another great achievement in what has been nearly a century of producing remarkable wines from this hallowed vineyard. The long 2011 should be reasonably mature in another 4-6 years, and last for two decades. It will always be a revelation in a vintage that is unlikely to receive a lot of exciting press. The final blend was 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc. (RP)
An impressive wood- and tannin-laden wine, with intense, solid fruit. It’s powerful, very dry and complex.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, dark ruby-red. Enticing aromas of strawberry, blackcurrant and white pepper, with a strong mineral overlay. Dense and rich but also juicy, with pure mineral and dark berry flavors and a delicately peppery element. The finish is pure and long. This La Mission seems almost too open today, but there's plenty of structure to support its fruit and acidity. Another classic vintage for this property.
A wine with pretty dark-chocolate, berry and currant character. Stones, too. Full body, chewy but polished tannins and a firm finish. Already showing the sea shell and iodine. Needs at least four or five years to soften. Reminds me of the excellent 1978. Try in 2019.
Deep dark crimson and elderberry core. Initially a little dusty on the nose, a touch of vanilla. Quite reticent but opens up to spicy dark cherry. Lovely enveloping texture, deep and smooth, so fine you can't feel any grain. Some of that smoky warm brick. Rich and open-armed. 17.5/20 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.