2012 La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1223217 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As for the 2012 La Mission Haut Brion, this wine (41% of the total production) continues to perform as it has for nearly a century. At first-growth levels of quality, this is s stunning wine that is full-bodied and very concentrated with notes of graphite, subtle charcoal embers, crème de cassis, blackberry and underlying subtle earthiness. The wine is full and powerful, rich and concentrated. And sure enough, the alcohol level tips the scales at 15% from a blend 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc. This is a big, blockbuster La Mission Haut Brion that should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. However, the tannins suggest that this wine should not be touched for another 5-6 years, as its one of the more backward of the 2012 Pessac-Léognans. Bravo! (RP)  (4/2015)

96 points Vinous

 One of the clear wines of the vintage, the 2012 La Mission Haut-Brion shows off a vertical sense of structure along with imposing tannins and serious depth. The flavors are dark, bold and extremely vivid. Dark red cherry, smoke, grilled herbs, graphite and blackberry jam are some of the many notes that come alive on the finish. This brooding La Mission needs a few years to settle down after which it will offer spectacular drinking for several decades. In a word: magnificent! (AG)  (1/2016)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is closed up, dry and tough on the outside. But you can feel the rich weight and the dark tannins along with the powerful structure. That makes this wine both replete with a firm character and also full of generous, concentrated black fruits. It’s a powerful wine, ready for good aging; drink from 2022. *Cellar Selection*  (5/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 The rigid tar and bramble frame should eventually meld with the core of plum, blackberry and macerated black currant fruit, featuring ample energy and a graphite note through the finish. Just a little bit of patience required here. Best from 2018 through 2025.  (3/2015)

92 points James Suckling

 Pure and precise aromas of dark fruits and currants with hints of stones follow through to a full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Harmonious and very elegant. Better in 2017.  (2/2015)

K&L Notes

La Mission-Haut-Brion has a long and illustrious history in Graves, and, in the eyes of some, is seen as the greatest estate in Bordeaux. The estate has an unbelievable record of superb wines stretching back over the past century, earning the reputation for pure excellence. Robert Parker has praised the quality to be 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 Château Haut-Brion, has owned and managed La Mission, which is now under the expert guidance of Jean-Philippe Delmas, the third generation in his family to manage the Dillon properties.

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Price: $249.99

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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.