Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2019
• Domaine: Château La Mission Haut-Brion
• Appellation: Pessac-Leognan
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Château La Mission Haut-Brion is considered by Robert Parker to be one of the best wines from Pessac-Léognan in terms of quality and consistency. This dense, tannic, and concentrated wine expresses itself beautifully, but it demands time in the cellar in order to reach its fullest potential. It would be impossible to discuss this producer without touching briefly upon its neighbor across the street, the esteemed First Growth Château Haut-Brion. Though there used to be a bit of a rivalry between these two illustrious estates, the tension has cooled down throughout the ages, and both are recognized as incredible expressions of Pessac-Léognan terroir within their own right. For the oenophile who loves a wine with power, intensity, concentration, and structure – Château La Mission Haut-Brion is an excellent choice.
Château La Mission Haut-Brion has a long history that dates to the 16th Century. The property was purchased by Jean de Pontac in 1533. Jean de Pontac was a well-known figure in the wine industry, owning some of the best estates in Bordeaux. He would later go on to own Château Haut-Brion as well. In 1607 the property changed hands to Olive de Lestonnac, a young widow who would manage the property. Eventually, she gave the property to the Congregate of the Mission, and that is when the estate received its moniker, “La Mission Haut-Brion.” A chapel was built in the vineyards, and it was known as Notre Dame de La Mission. The estate remained in the hands of the Roman Church until it was possessed by the French Government during the French Revolution. It was subsequently sold at public auction to the Chiapelle family who ended up managing Cos d’Estournel.
During the time of the 1855 Classification, La Mission Haut-Brion was selling wine priced similarly if not more expensive than the Second Growths in Bordeaux. The estate was not classified in 1855 as Château Haut-Brion was the only property within the Graves region with that privilege. This would change when Château La Mission Haut-Brion was classified during the Graves Classification in 1953. The estate changed hands several times until it was acquired by Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owners of Château Haut-Brion. Once Domaine Clarence Dillon took over operations of the estate, a massive renovation was completed both within the vineyards and at the estate. The wines have never been better.
Château La Mission Haut-Brion is situated on a deep gravel bed, which is typical of the region. Here, plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon thrive in the soils with excellent drainage. Château La Mission Haut-Brion vinifies their wines in stainless steel prior to ageing them in new French oak for 22 months. Their white wine, Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is considered one of the finest expressions of White Bordeaux in all of Pessac-Léognan. The wine of La Mission Haut-Brion is opulent and full-bodied, requiring several years in bottle to reach its peak expression, though we can assure you it is very much worth the wait.
"The 2019 La Mission Haut-Brion is composed of 53% Merlot, 39.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.5% Cabernet Franc, harvested from the 11th of September to the 2nd of October. The estimated label alcohol degree is 14.5%. Very deep purple-black in color, it slowly unfurls in the glass to reveal a beguiling perfume of violets, Black Forest cake, wild blueberries and kirsch with nuances of star anise, cast-iron pan, pencil lead and crushed rocks plus a waft of wild sage. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with layers of black fruit, earth and floral-laced flavors, framed by exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and compelling freshness, finishing with great length and loads of mineral sparks. A wine of impeccable breeding, both decadently flamboyant and provocatively graceful, this is already a prodigious wine of indisputable beauty." - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/10/2020, Bordeaux 2019 Issue), Ratings: 98-100
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