2009 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1055134 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2009 La Mission-Haut-Brion stood out as one of the most exceptional young wines I had ever tasted from barrel, and its greatness has been confirmed in the bottle. A remarkable effort from the Dillon family, this is another large-scaled La Mission that tips the scales at 15% alcohol. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (47% of each) and the rest Cabernet Franc, it exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a magnificent bouquet of truffles, scorched earth, blackberry and blueberry liqueur, subtle smoke and spring flowers. The wine-s remarkable concentration offers up an unctuous/viscous texture, a skyscraper-like mouthfeel, sweet, sumptuous, nearly over-the-top flavors and massive density. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime La Mission-Haut-Brion, the 2009 will take its place alongside the many great wines made here since the early 1920s. The good news is that there are nearly 6,000 cases of the 2009. It should last for 50-75+ years. Given the wine-s unctuosity and sweetness of the tannin, I would have no problem drinking it in about 5-6 years.  (2/ 2012)

98 points James Suckling

 What a gorgeous nose of ripe dark fruits such as bramble berries, blueberries and currants, with hints of orange flowers. This is so tight and focused, with laser-guided tannins. It starts very slowly and then builds and builds and builds on the palate. Currants and blackberries galore, yet a tangy, firm and creamy textured tannin structure. Racy, muscular structure. Try in 2021.  (2/ 2012)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

 Such a generous and ripe wine, with a dark core of tannins surrounded by opulent fruit. Black fruits, coffee, very concentrated flavors, a powerhouse of structure and richness. The warmth of the wine is palpable, as is the aging potential.  (2/ 2012)

93-96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Cauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc; a selection of 50% of the crop...) Deep ruby. Captivating aromas of strawberry and raspberry complicated by strong mineral and tobacco nuances. Remarkably graceful-almost weightless-in the mouth, with very nice depth to the pure red fruit, cedar and mineral flavors. The perfumed, very long finish features some assertive, youthful tannins that will require at least six or seven years of patience after release. This La Mission is closer in style to the La Chapelle than I recall in recent years (perhaps due to the similar blends), though a noticeable step up in precision and concentration. A great if understated wine, it's also completely different from the '05 La Mission, which contained a whopping 69% merlot.  (6/ 2010)

96 points Wine Spectator

 This is forcefully rendered, with dark tar, espresso and chocolate up front, backed by dense layers of fig sauce, currant reduction and smoldering black tea leaves. There's dense flesh and great drive on the finish, which has serious grip. Best from 2016 through 2035.  (3/ 2012)

K&L Notes

*½++ 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Cauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc. Deep black fruit and meaty aromas, earthy flavors and a dry finish. Hard to taste on this blustery day. The Friday group loved the wine. Note: Futures item. Wine will arrive late 2011 to 2013. You will be contacted for delivery instructions.

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.