2005 La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
This shows a beautiful balance between concentration and ripeness. The wine is full-bodied, showing fine and rich tannins with tons going on. This is long and beautiful. I remember this being more muscular, but nevertheless this has taken on a wonderful finesse and richness. Pull the cork after 2020.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Black raspberry and licorice on the nose. Dense and sweet but youthfully tight; a serious young wine with terrific verve and the acid/tannin backbone to support a long and glorious evolution in bottle. Very long on the back end, with mouth-saturating fruit and tannins. Like La Chapelle-and in direct contrast to Bahans and Haut-Brion-this is quite backward today, and almost certain to merit a higher rating in the future.
A classic La Mission, broad-shouldered and powerful with a greater percentage of Merlot than usual. Intense, brooding nose, huge volume of fruit and big, firm tannic frame. Monolithic but balanced. Drink 2015-2035. (18.5 points)
Very dark. Thick and almost inky. Still introvert. Tannins in evidence. Floral noted. High toned. Dry end. Very much in reserve for the future. Cool finish. 18/20 points.