La Mission Haut Brion 2018

RegionBordeaux
SubregionPessac-Leognan
ColourRed
TypeStill

Frequently the qualitative equal of sister-Chateau Haut Brion and in some years even better. The historic La Tour Haut Brion vineyard has been incorporated into La Mission now but most of the fruit is relegated to the 2nd label - La Chapelle de la Mission. La Mission's production levels are now smaller than ever and, more than ever, it can be seen as an 'honorary' First Growth. There are normally around 5000 cases produced annually. The vineyard is planted with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot but this year it's Merlot that is the biggest part with 53.5% of the 2018 blend.


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Tasting Notes

Deep ruby-purple in the glass. Exotic and aromatic on the nose with smoked almonds, tobacco and blue fruits. The palate is tightly focused and precise, with very fine but plentiful tannins coating the mouth. The fruit is pure and ripe, with juicy cherries and hints of cassis. The exotic spice of oak is judicious and complements the riper elements of fruit, bringing savoury, smoky tones through the mid palate. The finish is fleshy and long, with a creamy, chocolate and vanilla edge to the black cherries that linger in the mouth.

Score: 17.5+Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

The 2018 La Mission Haut-Brion was picked from 10 September to 2 October at 44hL/ha. It has a perfumed and wonderfully delineated bouquet with blackberry, briary, pressed violets and graphite aromas, perhaps even more precise than the Haut-Brion at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with silky smooth tannins. This is almost clinical in terms of precision, symmetrical, with a powerful, almost Burgundian finish that reveals amazing persistence. This is a fabulous La Mission Haut-Brion and a contender for one of the wines of the vintage.2024 - 2060

Score: 96/98Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

The 2018 La Mission Haut-Brion is composed of 53.5% Merlot, 42.9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3.6% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 10 to October 2. Deep purple-black in color, it slowly unfurls to reveal a beguiling nose of earth and soft-spoken fruit, opening with wild blueberries, wet slate, pencil lead and fresh black cherries giving way to a serious core of blackcurrant cordial, baked plums and wild sage, and then exposing delicate wafts of rose hip tea and candied violets. Full-bodied, the palate is very tightly wound and super intense with amazing restraint and energy focused around very firm, exquisitely fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing incredibly long and fantastically multilayered. Extraordinary wine.

Score: 98/100Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

A tight and linear red with fantastic oyster-shell, iodine and crushed-stone character, complementing the currants and blackberries. Extremely long and fresh.

Score: 97/98James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

Deepest crimson with very dark core. Intense, pure aromatic cassis and a hint of cassis leaf, though fully ripe. Smells very Cabernet. And the tannins are upright and structured but extremely lithe and supple. No thickness here. Agile. Just a little chewy on the finish. So seemingly approachable and full of energy.
Drink 2026-2040

Score: 17.5+Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

The 2018 La Mission Haut-Brion checks in as 53.5% Merlot, 42.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc that, like the La Chappelle de la Mission Haut-Brion, was harvested between September 10 and October 2. Straight up awesome notes of black raspberries, smoked earth, melted licorice, and tobacco all emerge from this deeply colored 2018, and it develops a beautiful violet and floral quality with time in the glass. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated on the palate, with subtle background oak and sweet tannins, it's one sexy yet also seamless 2018 that does everything right.

Score: 97/99Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

An extremely fine Mission, just beginning to say its piece. It's dense, gorgeously velvety in texture and bursting with fruit and energy. On the palate you get liquorice and dark chocolate notes, showing clear generosity while easily walking the line of balance. The longer it sits in the glass, the more the minerality takes hold on the mid-palate, doling out its tiny sparks of electricity and holding your attention. The subtle smoke, freshly cut herbs and tight tannins steal up on you, planting their flag in the finish. Harvested 10 September to 2 October, giving a 44hl/ha yield. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. IPT 75.8. The 3.76pH is the highest since 1989.

Drinking Window 2023 - 2032

Score: 97Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019

(53.5 Merlot, 42.9 Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.4 Cabernet Franc) | 62% new oak | 14.2 – 14.4% alc | 76 IPT | Harvested between 10th September and 2nd October This is a blunt and tough La Mission with muscle and power and it is not showing much fruit, preferring to lead with skin tannin and oak notes. The dryness and intensity of the skin derived flavours are rather arresting and this dents the flow of the wine across the palate. There are slight coffee bean notes and some tobacco details here, but overall this is a square, monolithic wine which needs a lot of time and also some serious softening of the tannins to fall into balance.

Score: 18+Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.