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La Mission Haut Brion 2006

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc

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Tasting Notes

A somewhat under-the-radar La Mission, the 2006 was generally overlooked following the brilliance of the 2005. A young, dense purple-hued wine that is developing beautifully, it exhibits notes of Asian plum sauce, charcoal, barbecue smoke, roasted meats, graphite and background oak. Full-bodied with good acidity, moderate tannin and a vigorous, powerful youthfulness, the 2006 will age more quickly than the 2005, but it still requires another 5-8 years of cellaring. Anticipated Maturity: 2014-2035.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (202), August 2012

The 2006 Château La Mission Haut-Brion has a very attractive, captivating bouquet: red berry fruit, warm gravel, Hoisin and a pinch of truffle all beautifully conveyed. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin that lend this La Mission such symmetry and detail. It is not a powerful wine, never pressing its foot down hard on the accelerator, but that is one of it strengths, and those black truffle and mineral notes surfacing towards the poised finish are entrancing. Classic from start to finish, the only facet that is missing is that peacock's tail on the finish.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2016

The 2006 La Mission Haut-Brion is showing very well at age 15, and even though it's still five or six years away from the beginning of its plateau of maturity, it is already quite expressive, wafting from the glass with aromas of blackberries and blackcurrants mingled with notions of smoke, cigar wrapper, black truffle and loamy soil. Full-bodied, fleshy and muscular, with a richly layered core of fruit framed by an abundance of ripe, powdery tannin, in a blind tasting I suspect many would confuse it with a 2005. 2026 - 2056

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (259), February 2022

This is so perfumed and pretty. Classy and elegant on the nose, with currant, light vanilla and a hint of lilac. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, long finish. All in finesse. Very impressive for the vintage; could be the wine of the vintage.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2007

59% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc. 55% of total production.
Deep crimson with strong purple notes. Fairly mild nose and rather voluptuous palate entry. Very fine tannins but with pretty rigid backbone. A certain velvetiness. Round and fine. But muted. Certainly refreshing but there is a little green streak on the finish. Seems weaker than I would have expected. Too much Tour in here? Opened up in the glass - more aromatic and playful than the Haut-Brion. But lighter and therefore apparently skinnier.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2007

Medium ruby-red. Roasted redcurrant, scorched earth, minerals, roasted herbs, Cuban cigar tobacco and licorice on the rather forbidding nose. Densely packed but with a light touch thanks to penetrating acidity and minerality. Showing no easy sweetness today, with red fruits lurking in the deep background. Finishes with chewy, serious tannins whose youthful toughness calls for a decade of aging.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May 2009

There is a leaner but elegant feel to the nose; concentrated fruit does come through on the palate with a fleshy ripeness at the start. The mineral streak lightens the flavours and gives a fresh feel to the finish

Derek Smedley MW, April 2007
Read more tasting notes...

One of the vintage-s top wines is the 2006 La Mission-Haut-Brion. From bottle, it reminds me of the 1998, given its structure and backward style. Dense ruby/purple-colored, it possesses a boatload of tannin, but with coaxing, tobacco leaf, sweet black currant, burning ember, and blue fruit characteristics emerge. While thick and full-bodied, the tannins seem more elevated than I remember from barrel. It is going to be a beauty, but like many of the top 2006s, considerable patience is required. Only 55% of the production made it into the grand vin as Jean-Philippe Delmas made a severe selection. The final blend was 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2006 has one of the highest natural alcohols ever achieved at La Mission, averaging around 14.3%, which is astonishingly high for a Graves. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2035.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (181), February 2009

This superb effort rivals La Mission’s 2005. There are 6,000 cases of the 2006, and general manager Jean-Philippe Delmas told me that the Merlot came in at a natural alcohol that exceeded 15%. The final alcohol is a whopping 14.3%, the pH is 3.8, and the blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. This utterly profound, exceptionally rich, full-bodied, thick La Mission is undeniably one of the candidates for the “wine of the vintage.” It possesses a dense ruby/purple color followed by sweet blue and black fruit notes intertwined with notions of burning embers and flowers. Unctuous, massively fruity, and thick, this is a great La Mission! Anticipated maturity: 2012-2035+.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

Tasted at Haut Brion. Picked at 43hl/ha (44ha/hl for the 2005). Deep black/purple colour. The nose has good intensity with blueberry, raspberry, a touch of sea salt. Good definition, no greenness. Good lift. Full-bodied, grippy tannins, very solid and cohesive. Fine acidity, a real mass of black fruits, infused with black olives. Very tight, very focused, this is not a flamboyant La Mission, it does not have the persistency of a truly great vintage like the 1989 or indeed 2005, but there is a wonderful purity and beguiling reserve. Very harmonious, minerally finish. It needs a year in bottle for its true pedigree to show. Tasted April 2007.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2007

Saturated ruby-red. Knockout nose melds black plum, minerals, hot stones, tobacco and caramel. Lush, sweet and stuffed with fruit; a round, utterly seamless wine that offers superb palate coverage and an impressive mounting finish featuring sweet, fine-grained tannins and wonderful fullness of texture. This is remarkably explosive today considering that the 2006s here have recently been fined. Interestingly, enologist Jean-Philippe Masclet noted that the pHs of La Mission and Haut-Brion were higher in 2006 than in either 2007 or 2005-a testament to the advantages of the warm microclimate here and the ability to pick ripe fruit early. Even better than I thought it was a year ago.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, June 2008
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.