2011 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The small production (4,150 cases) of 2011 La Mission-Haut-Brion displays the nobility and complexity of this great terroir. Burning embers, scorched earth, blueberry, black currant, licorice and spice aromas jump from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored wine. With full body (atypical for a 2011), but no hard edges, this opulent, multidimensional, fleshy, rich, stunningly long, well-balanced La Mission is another great achievement in what has been nearly a century of producing remarkable wines from this hallowed vineyard. The long 2011 should be reasonably mature in another 4-6 years, and last for two decades. It will always be a revelation in a vintage that is unlikely to receive a lot of exciting press. The final blend was 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc. (RP)
An impressive wood- and tannin-laden wine, with intense, solid fruit. It’s powerful, very dry and complex.
A wine with pretty dark-chocolate, berry and currant character. Stones, too. Full body, chewy but polished tannins and a firm finish. Already showing the sea shell and iodine. Needs at least four or five years to soften. Reminds me of the excellent 1978. Try in 2019.
This sports a pleasantly grippy edge of briar and cassis bush notes, with a densely layered core of dark fig, blackberry and black currant fruit that should move to the fore soon enough. The long, mesquite-tinged finish has solid grip. Best from 2016 through 2030.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full ruby. Expressive aromas of raspberry, strawberry, Asian spices and minerals. Youthfully tight and dry, but already shows noteworthy focus and lift to the youthfully medicinal cherry and floral flavors. This could use a little more generosity on the long finish, but it's an outstanding wine of noteworthy purity. (ID)
Deep dark crimson and elderberry core. Initially a little dusty on the nose, a touch of vanilla. Quite reticent but opens up to spicy dark cherry. Lovely enveloping texture, deep and smooth, so fine you can't feel any grain. Some of that smoky warm brick. Rich and open-armed. 17.5/20 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.