2008 La Mission-Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1095296 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Like a lot of wines in this underrated vintage, the 2008 La Mission was one of the great bargains of recent vintages. Its healthy blue/purple color is followed by aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, licorice, truffles, underbrush and forest floor. The scorched earthy/smoky character of this estate’s terroir has not yet emerged. Medium to full-bodied and concentrated with good acidity, freshness and delineation, this is a big wine for the vintage, but also very classic in its balance of tannin, acidity and extract. It will benefit from another 5-7 years of cellaring and should keep for three decades. (RP)  (8/2012)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Dark and concentrated, this is a powerhouse of flavors and dense tannins. It’s a wonderful combination of velvet texture and dry structure. Layered, complex, wood and spice already showing signs of integration, but certainly set for the long haul.  (4/2011)

93 points James Suckling

 Fascinating aromas of crushed berry, plums, sweet tobacco and stones. Full bodied, with chewy and velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is very structured and rich with a bright and tangy acidity.  (12/2010)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby-purple. Expressive aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, underbrush, smoke and minerals. Juicy, spicy and on the lean side, but with excellent firmness and lift to the dark berry, tar and tobacco flavors. This gained considerable mid-palate sweetness and pliancy with air. But almost austere today on the minerally finish, which features ripe tannins and impressively long, juicy fruit.  (7/2011)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Tangy and lightly firm, with cherry pit, pomegranate and blackberry notes, followed by sage and tobacco. There's nice focus, with a tarry hint for added length on the finish. Rather tight now, with the edgy feel holding sway, but this should settle into itself nicely enough.  (4/2011)


 Dense plummy red, ripe Cabernet fruit open on the nose, firm on the palate, a little herbaceous, precision, clarity and depth. Drink 2015-25.  (4/2009)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson. Lightly fragrant with a hint of tea leaves. Now this is elegant! But it's rather different from old La Missions. Much more polished and suave. Once this puts on weight it should come into better balance. At the moment it's perhaps just a little too light, but is certainly marvellously pure and has a wonderful line along the palate. 18/20 points.  (5/2009)

K&L Notes

51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.

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Price: $224.99

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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.


- 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.


- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:


- 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.