2004 La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1029677 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 As so often, La Mission is rich, voluptuous, opulent and always a wine that seduces when it is young. But watch for those firm tannins, pure black plum and chocolate flavors, and wait for the dense texture to open up over the next 10 years and more. (RV)  (6/2007)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red-ruby. Bright aromas of dark fruits, licorice, rocks and leather, lifted by a light peppery nuance. Dense and broad, with a creamy, seamless mid-palate texture and a restrained sweetness. Finishes with fine, broad tannins and noteworthy persistence. With its very fresh style, this comes across as a bit more delineated today than the 2005 Haut-Brion. An excellent showing. (ST)  (5/2007)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Aromas of fruit and spices, with black pepper and cumin and undertones of forest floor. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit, a silky texture and a medium-to-long finish. Best after 2011. (JS)  (3/2007)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 While La Mission Haut-Brion’s 2004 is not one of this estate’s top successes, it is an outstanding wine, no doubt because of this extraordinary terroir. Deep ruby/purple with notes of lead pencil shavings intermixed with black cherries, cassis, and a hint of scorched earth, medium body, sweet tannin, and a good, but uninspiring finish, this attractive, mid-weight La Mission should age nicely for 15 or more years. (RP)  (6/2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson but with some evolution. Real complexity on the nose for the first time! Warmth and warm bricks but still fresh. Very juicy. 17/20 points. (JR)  (3/2014)

K&L Notes

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.

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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

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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.