2010 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Previously $1000)
This is crazy. The nose is so unique with the iodine, stones and currant aromas with wet earth and mushroom. Aromas like this don't usually come out until 10 years or so in the bottle. Classic nose for this estate. Full-bodied, with an amazing palate of firm yet polished tannins and a solid palate. So dense and gorgeous. It is really stunning. Try in 2020.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A strong candidate for a perfect score in about 15 years, the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion could well turn out to be a modern-day version of their 1955. Sadly (or maybe fortunately) for me, I’m not old enough to have tasted the 1955 in 1958 from bottle, but this wine could also be an update on the more modern 2000 which, of course, I know well and actually own. This full-bodied, colossal giant of a wine is one of the goliaths of the vintage. It may well have the highest level of natural alcohol for any wine from the Left Bank of Bordeaux (15.1%) and has the definite potential to be a 50- to 75-year wine. Dense purple, it offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal embers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur along with massive concentration, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel and a monumental finish that goes well past a minute, which I think might be a record for a young Bordeaux. Keep in mind that the 2009, which I gave three digits, came in at 14.7%, but the pH of the 2010 is lower, giving the wine a freshness and precision that is remarkable. The final blend was 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and – unlike the Chapelle de la Mission, which has 26% Cabernet Franc – there’s only 1% Cabernet Franc in the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion. This is a wine for those of you with youth on your side as well as patience. It will need a good decade of cellaring. An amazing wine. Anticipated maturity: 2024-2075+.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-purple. Deep, refined aromas of blackcurrant, cedar, minerals and wet stone on the reticent, cabernet sauvignon-dominated nose. Then very dense and powerful on the palate, with pristine blackberry, mineral and forest floor flavors and a supple touch that Haut-Brion doesn't yet show. The tannins are amazingly fine and polished, indeed among the noblest of the year, but this otherwise great wine lacks the sheer massive concentration of Haut-Brion. At 10,000 vines per hectare, La Mission almost always has 0.2% or 0.3% more alcohol than Haut-Brion, according to Jean-Philippe Delmas. But the exact measure of La Mission's success in 2010 is that its 15.1% alcohol is not at all obvious.
*Cellar Selection* A beautifully dense, ripe wine, its intense acidity balanced by an opulent structure and gorgeous fruits. The texture is smooth and velvety, while never losing sight of the powerful structure. This elegant and powerful wine will age for many years.
Intense and engaging. Despite showing lots of heft and tarry grip, the singed apple wood and alder notes are well-defined in this red, accentuating a core of roasted fig, blackberry coulis and macerated red and black currant fruit. The long, bramble-edged finish sports showy ganache and Lapsang souchong tea notes, while the structure refuses to yield until everything has finally played out. Muscular and vivacious. Best from 2019 through 2040.
37% Merlot, 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc. 47% grand vin (compared to 50% in 2009). Very deep crimson -- glowing. Scented and really quite muted and even austere on the nose. And then very fleshy and even rather gorgeous on the palate. Wonderfully refined tannins and quite broad fruit but there is a nub of something a little green in the fruit itself? Demanding on the taster -- not least because this will need long ageing. Nothing hot about this. Great freshness and sweetness. The acidity nicely counterbalances the alcohol. 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.