1975 La Mission-Haut-Brion, Graves (high shoulder, torn capsule)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This is undisputably the wine of the vintage, a year that was clearly over-exposed and over-rated, largely because it was better than the four vintages that preceded it...The 1975 La Mission-Haut-Brion, which consistently received perfect scores in its first thirty years of life, remains a vibrant, vital wine... (and) possesses enough evidence of greatness to stand alone as the finest 1975... a blockbuster for its first 20-30 years of life. While much of the fat has faded away, the wine still possesses a vitality and vigor that belies its 37 years of age. The color is a dark garnet with just a touch of lightening at the rim. Notes of camphor, wood charcoal, black fruits, plums, cedar, damp earth, truffles, asphalt and smoke result in a fabulous set of aromatics that are nothing short of compelling. Based on the aromatics alone, this offering would merit a perfect score, but some of the nasty tannins in this vintage are beginning to make their presence known on the palate. Nevertheless, this is a freak for the year - very concentrated, dense and remarkably youthful. It will undoubtedly provide extraordinary drinking for another 30-50 years. Nothing about this wine indicates it can't keep going, although its one-time perfection has faded ever so slightly. This amazing effort is a truly profound wine in another disastrous vintage in Bordeaux! (RP)
This is a legend in the market, but I have never thought it was perfection. The nose is impressive with dried stones, sweet tobacco and dried dark fruits. It is full-bodied with loads of ripe fruit, iodine, and sea salt flavors. It is full, powerful, and chewy. Turns dry from the tannins on the finish.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very good medium red. Redcurrant, plum and tobacco aromas show a somewhat cool, primary quality. Dense and still rather youthfully tight in the mouth; offers a supple texture but comes across as distinctly less sweet than these other vintages of La Mission. Tannins are lively and harmonious, but the finish shows the dry edge that characterizes the 1975 vintage. Still developing. Drink now through 2030. 93(+?) points.
This has been heralded as one of the greatest La Missions ever, but I have my doubts. Will it ever come around? Deep, dark aromas; full-bodied, with superb concentration of fruit, but extremely tough and tannic, with high alcohol. Lacks a bit of balance. Could become like the '37?