One of the wines of the vintage, the 2000 has barely budged in its evolution since it was bottled and released in 2002. After ten years in bottle, it still reveals a dense opaque purple color along with a potentially sensational bouquet of blueberries, black currants, graphite, asphalt and background oak. Extremely powerful, full-bodied and superbly concentrated with good acidity and high but round tannins, this massive La Mission-Haut-Brion should take its place among this estate's most hallowed vintages when it hits full maturity in another one to two decades. I was surprised by just how youthful this wine tasted at age 12. If tasted blind, I would have guessed it to be around 4 to 5 years old. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050.
One of the wines that I selected for the 67 Pall Mall Advent Calendar (in what has got to be my favourite job I have ever done), and wow this is good. Still densely packed with fruit and tannins even at 21 years old, fully hitting its stride. Open enough to be generous, especially after a few hours in a carafe, but young enough to remain juicy and concentrated, layer upon layer of caressing blackberry and cassis fruits, tobacco, cigar leaf, olive tapenade and grilled cedar. A vintage that was 1.5C higher temperatures than average pretty much throughout the growing season, with big tannins that needed time, but are now velvety and welcoming.
Tasted at Farr Vintner's La Mission dinner. The 2000 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion seems remarkably backward compared to the 2005. Sultry and broody, it reluctantly reveals very pure scents of blackberry, blueberry, iodine that are joined by black olive compote with time. The palate is smooth and mellow, slightly viscous in texture betraying the concentrating within this almost saturnine La Mission Haut-Brion. This is a powerful wine, one that will only be tamed by time. Drink 2018-2045.