1995 La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan

SKU #110237 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This vintage is aging at a glacial pace and the tannins are currently more significant than their counterbalancing components of fruit and glycerin. While the word “potential” seems to be the most positive descriptor for this vintage, there are some nagging doubts about whether all the tannins will melt away and the fruit will hold. As in most 1995s, the color remains a healthy dark plum/purple. One of the bigger wines of the vintage, the ripe, powerful Merlot component has buttressed the Cabernet elements, giving the wine plenty of body, tannin and La Mission’s classic asphalt, cassis, blackberry, smoky barbecue, meaty notes intermixed with a hint of hot rocks. The 1995 is still a young wine and I am beginning to wonder if this vintage overall will resemble 1975 rather than something with more charm? (RP)  (8/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Subtle aromas of sweet tobacco, cigar box and ripe strawberry. Full-bodied, with very well-integrated, tightly woven tannins. Chewy, rich. Needs more time. (JS)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full red. Pungent redcurrant, mineral, plum, coffee and smoke aromas. Penetrating, firm, and tightly wound, with excellent intensity and delineation of flavor; hiding its density today. Very long and firm on the back end; tannins coat the entire mouth. A strong showing for this wine. (ST)  (5/1998)

Jancis Robinson

 Mid ruby. Occluded nose. Rather a gentle beast. Rich and sweet with the bite of dust tannins on the finish. Very sweet and flattering. Very definitely a smudgy ‘cloud’ of a wine. Medium weight. Not lots of intensity. Quite delicate. But lovely length even if the dryness of the tannins is starting to triumph. Long. 17.5/20 points (JR)  (2/2011)

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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.