2012 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
Ripe and concentrated, this shows all the opulence for which La Mission Haut-Brion is famed. It's dark, intense, and packed with rich Merlot.
Features pure, racy, floral cassis, violet and bergamot notes, with a long, mineral-tinged finish. Very expressive, this represents a noticeable step up from the second wine in this vintage. Tasted non-blind.
This is delicate for La Mission with bright and pretty fruit with blueberries and minerals on the nose and palate. Full body, with velvety tannins and a very pretty finish. Earth and bark undertones.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 La Mission Haut-Brion, which represents 41% of the total production, is a blend of 62% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Lots of tobacco leaf, forest floor, underbrush and red as well as black fruit aromas jump from this aromatic, seductive, open-knit La Mission. Medium to full-bodied, round, generous, lush and flattering to taste, even at this young age, it is built along the stylistic lines of the 2001 or 1999. Drink it over the next 15-20 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Moderately saturated ruby-red. Inky, medicinal aromas and flavors of fresh blackcurrant, black cherry, minerals and menthol. Typical youthful La Mission on the palate: classically dry and linear, in fact downright austere today. Finishes with building tannins and a lingering violet note. La Mission is often hard as nails at the Primeurs stage, and I've been wrong before in trying to discern just how much deep fruit it really has. Still, while I understand that this wine is very young yet, I'm not sure why it's so tough, considering all the merlot in the blend. I wondered about the yields, which seemed a little high for a grand vin, and technical director Jean-Philippe Masclef explained it was because of the lack of eclaircissage.
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.