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La Mission Haut Brion 2010

Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon

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Tasting Notes

A strong candidate for a perfect score in about 15 years, the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion could well turn out to be a modern-day version of their 1955. Sadly (or maybe fortunately) for me, I'm not old enough to have tasted the 1955 in 1958 from bottle, but this wine could also be an update on the more modern 2000 which, of course, I know well and actually own. This full-bodied, colossal giant of a wine is one of the goliaths of the vintage. It may well have the highest level of natural alcohol for any wine from the Left Bank of Bordeaux (15.1%) and has the definite potential to be a 50- to 75-year wine. Dense purple, it offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal embers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur along with massive concentration, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel and a monumental finish that goes well past a minute, which I think might be a record for a young Bordeaux. Keep in mind that the 2009, which I gave three digits, came in at 14.7%, but the pH of the 2010 is lower, giving the wine a freshness and precision that is remarkable. The final blend was 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and - unlike the Chapelle de la Mission, which has 26% Cabernet Franc - there's only 1% Cabernet Franc in the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion. This is a wine for those of you with youth on your side as well as patience. It will need a good decade of cellaring. An amazing wine. Anticipated maturity: 2024-2075+.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013

One of the most powerful La Missions ever produced, the 2010, a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, achieved 15% natural alcohol (even higher than the 2009's 14.7%). Nevertheless, the pH is normal which gives the wine an extraordinary precision, freshness and vibrancy despite its massive size. A blue/purple color is followed by a classic nose of blueberry liqueur, creme de cassis, spring flowers and crushed rocks. This monumental, full-bodied, incredibly rich La Mission-Haut-Brion will need a decade of cellaring and should last for 40-50 years. It is slightly fatter and creamier than its sibling rival, the 2010 Chateau Haut-Brion.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011

The 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion has a very flattering bouquet with detailed red and black fruit laced with chestnut, cedar and sous-bois. This is supremely well focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins. There is immense depth here, more savoury than expected with chestnut once again, white pepper and a tinge of dried blood towards the finish. Outstanding. Drink 2028-2075.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, April 2020

Tasted at Chateau Haut Brion. The La Mission has a far more extrovert bouquet compared to the Haut Brion, with fresh, vibrant, gregarious scents of black cherries, mulberry, cassis and vanilla with fine delineation and warmth of alcohol that packs a punch at 15.1%. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded, supple tannins. It is far more expressive than the Haut-Brion at the moment, showing ample dark berries, dark plum and a touch of cedar. This is a powerful, burly, sensual, buxom La Mission but one has to ask, are those the characteristics you expect or desire from an estate that produced so many ethereal wines over the years? Personally I prefer the more sophisticated Haut-Brion. Tasted November 2012.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2013

Comparing the Grand Vin with La Chapelle, I must say at this premature stage the aromatics are very similar, perhaps with a little more precision on the La Mission but certainly there is not much to distinguish between them. But give this two or three minutes in the glass and begins to blossom, offering pure dark cherry, cassis and blackberry fruits, crushed stone, cola and a touch of graphite. The palate is superb and disguising the 14.7% alcohol well, the tannins strident and arching over the wine. There is a saline/spicy notes just on the finish that leaves the mouth tingling. Tasted September 2011.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, December 2011

The La Mission Haut-Brion, a blend of 37% Merlot, 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, 3.57pH and knocking in at....15.1% alcohol. It has a wonderful nose with crushed stone, black plum and graphite, with an almost Pauillac-like personality. The palate is medium-bodied and quite structured on the entry, the Cabernet in the driving seat lending cedar and graphite. Linear, strict, brilliant focused with good tension on the finish, you have to give to Jean-Philippe Delmas that the alcohol is cunningly disguised, but on the other hand, how about drinking more than a glass? That remains to be seen, hence my caution. Tasted March 2011.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2011

Deep garnet colored, the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion has a commanding, profound nose of baked blackberries, boysenberries and warm cassis plus suggestions of candied violets, red roses, chocolate box, cedar chest and smoked meats with a waft of iron ore. Full-bodied, powerful and hedonic, the palate bursts with expressive black fruits and floral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing with epic length. A real head-turner, this beauty is already very impressive, but for that full WOW experience I would give it another 3-5 years in bottle to blossom. 2023 - 2070

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

This is crazy. The nose is so unique with the iodine, stones and currant aromas with wet earth and mushroom. Aromas like this don't usually come out until 10 years or so in the bottle. Classic nose for this estate. Full-bodied, with an amazing palate of firm yet polished tannins and a solid palate. So dense and gorgeous. It is really stunning. Try in 2020.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2013

This is very perfumed for La Mission with dark berry, light chocolate, flowers, and minerals. Full and silky with fine tannins and a bright and tangy finish. Intense and powerful. Refined. Long

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2011

Very dark crimson. Intense and voluptuous on the nose. Really out there! Like an essence of La Mission. Full and rich and lively with massive mineral influence. Sui generis. Pretty demanding and a bit warm on the end. Like licking glacé bricks (because it has more sweetness than usual). You may need knowledge of La Mission in the past to appreciate this but it is truly an amazing wine. The gravelly bit stops it being too sweet and rich. Lots of tannin still there. But such energy! 15%
Drink 2024 – 2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2020

37% Merlot, 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc. 47% grand vin (compared to 50% in 2009). Very deep crimson - glowing. Scented and really quite muted and even austere on the nose. And then very fleshy and even rather gorgeous on the palate. Wonderfully refined tannins and quite broad fruit but there is a nub of something a little green in the fruit itself? Demanding on the taster - not least because this will need long ageing. Nothing hot about this. Great freshness and sweetness. The acidity nicely counterbalances the alcohol. 15.1%

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011

Frequently the equal of sister-Chateau Haut Brion, especially in top vintages. Indeed in years such as 1975, 1982 and 2000 it is arguably even better. The historic La Tour Haut Brion vineyard has been incorporated into La Mission now but none of the fruit produced from it is used in the grand vin - it 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 only 5100 cases to go around this year as just 47% of production has gone into the Grand Vin. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 1% Cabernet franc. At 15.1 degrees this is the most powerful La Mission ever.It is hugely dense with a brooding nose of black cherries, road tar and spice; enormous in the mouth, super-charged with incredible density of ripe fruit, chocolate, Havana cigars, minerality, liquorice and black pepper. Firmly structured, the tannins balance and control the magnificently opulent fruit. An awesome La Mision that is destined for greatness.

Farr Vintners, April 2011

There is a mass of powerful fruit on the nose cassis and damsons backed by black cherry. The palate is rich deep and sweet the fruit fleshed out by dark chocolate. There is structure but the back palate is supple fleshy and showing a whiff of alcohol.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2011
Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2011

Dense black floral fruit, great depth and ripeness, great structure and elegance, a superb La Mission. Drink 2018-40.

Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2011
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.