2009 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*˝++ 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.