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La Mission Haut Brion 2011

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-LĂ©ognan
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc

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Tasting Notes

The small production (4,150 cases) of 2011 La Mission-Haut-Brion displays the nobility and complexity of this great terroir. Burning embers, scorched earth, blueberry, black currant, licorice and spice aromas jump from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored wine. With full body (atypical for a 2011), but no hard edges, this opulent, multidimensional, fleshy, rich, stunningly long, well-balanced La Mission is another great achievement in what has been nearly a century of producing remarkable wines from this hallowed vineyard. The long 2011 should be reasonably mature in another 4-6 years, and last for two decades. It will always be a revelation in a vintage that is unlikely to receive a lot of exciting press. The final blend was 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc.

Jean-Philippe Delmas continues to quietly and authoritatively turn out one great wine after another at La Mission-Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (212), May 2014

A wine with pretty dark-chocolate, berry and currant character. Stones, too. Full body, chewy but polished tannins and a firm finish. Already showing the sea shell and iodine. Needs at least four or five years to soften. Reminds me of the excellent 1978. Try in 2019.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2014

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 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 around 5000 cases produced annually. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc. 44% of the crop made the grand vin, with 47% relegated to Chapelle de la Mission and 9% sold off in bulk. This has an impressively deep colour and a wonderfully rich nose full of smoky barbeque aromas. On the palate black fruit is intermingled with classic tarry spicy notes and great Mission Haut Brion character. There is a huge core of fruit in the middle here - exceptional for the vintage. Intense cassis fruit matched by a firm bite of tannin at the finish. There is no doubt that this is a wine of first growth quality.

Farr Vintners, March 2012

There is a lot of fruit on the nose ripe and sweet all very black fruited. The tannins are fine giving support but not dominating. There is a lovely balance between richness and freshness a mix of rich cassis and fresher bramble flavours that last well on the finish.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2012

Living up to its status as a super second verging on a first growth, La Mission is delicious in 2011, with a perfumed, almost exotic nose of Asian spices and orange peel. The palate has a lovely sweet core, with fine-boned tannins and good oak integration. Poised and long on the palate, with persistence and complexity, this is a wine that should develop beautifully over the next decade or more. 15+ years.

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2012

Earthy, even smoky nose, lots of grippy vigour now, richness and depth to come through. Drink 2018-2035.

Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2012
Read more tasting notes...

The production of the 2011 La Mission-Haut-Brion (55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc) was a tiny 4,100 cases, compared to 6,000 cases in 2009 and 5,100 cases in 2010. The 2011 is a big, sexy, smoky, classic La Mission displaying lots of road tar, graphite, barbecue, meats, mulberry, black currant and blueberry notes. It is full-bodied with sweet tannin as well as an expansive, fleshy style. The harvest was late in 2011 despite the fact that this micro-climate is one of the warmest and most precocious in all of Bordeaux since it is essentially in the city of Bordeaux. This brilliant wine, one of the vintage-s superstars, should drink reasonably well in 3-4 years and keep for 25 or more.

I can-t say enough good things about the job Jean-Philippe Delmas has done after taking over for his well-known father at La Mission-Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion. As long-time readers know, I am an addict for both of these wines.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012

The La Mission is a blend of 33.7% Merlot, 11.3% Cabernet Franc and 55% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose takes time to coalesce: very classic with ripe blackberry and briary fruit, fine minerality, a hint of black olive and crushed stone. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannins. This is an edgy La Mission with crisp acidity, a silver citric thread, dark broody brambly fruit and an almost angular, but very fresh, focused finish. I like the classicism of the 2011. Excellent. Tasted April 2012.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2012

What a beautiful nose of Cabernet Sauvignon with currants, berries and hints of dark chocolate. Full and super silky with fine tannins and a very firm and long finish. Very long.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2012
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.