2014 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2014 is a blend of 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked between 15 September and 8 October raised in 55% new oak. It has a very fresh and precise bouquet, not one that marches out the barrack in confidence fashion, but rather unfolds piece-by-piece in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a structured and neatly placed opening: a little masculine for La Mission Haut-Brion at this stage, linear and focused, maintaining precision rather than aiming from power and roundness. This is a sophisticated La Mission Haut-Brion in the making, one that may actually surpass Haut-Brion as it is sometimes prone to do. The 2014 is a sterling success for Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. (NM)
*Barrel Sample* Ripe and voluptuous, this is a beautiful wine. It has acidity and a degree of freshness, although the finely textured character and rich fruitiness are its true hallmarks. The tannins will certainly allow it to age well.
The 2014 La Mission Haut-Brion is magnificent. A dark, mysterious wine, the 2014 offers superb depth and intensity from the very first taste. The flavors are dark, bold and quite authoritative, but there is an element of sensuality laced throughout as well. Graphite, savory herbs, cherry jam, graphite and smoke add nuance to a huge, powerful finish supported by beams of salinity and energy. What a gorgeous wine this is. The blend is 54% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc. 93-96+ (AG)
*Barrel Tasting* This has the engaging rusticity of the estate, with a strong sappy and briary frame around a core of plum skin, dried star anise, licorice root and dark currant fruit. Solidly grippy through the finish, with a lingering tar edge and a bright pastis note. Rather backward, but rock-solid. Tasted non-blind.
Chewy and rich with blueberry, stone and mineral character. Full body, silky and intense tannins and a mineral berry aftertaste. A finely grained La Mission.
52% of production. 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep crimson. At last something sumptuous from the Haut-Brion stable! (I have been tasting through the second wines and the Quintus.) Deep and really quite rich at first though then the acidity starts to come through on the end. This may be quite a severe La Mission. Dry finish and only medium bodied. It will need quite a time to develop enough weight and nuance to counteract the acid and tannin. (17+/20 points)