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.
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A positively stunning wine, the 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion is all class. Sweet floral notes give the 2017 striking freshness, nuance and energy. Rose petal, mint, blood orange, red cherry, pomegranate and mocha are all laced together. In 2017, La Mission plays very much in the red fruit and floral end of the spectrum. Effortless, gracious and wonderfully nuanced, the 2017 simply has it all. What a wine! 2024 - 2047.
The 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion was bottled a little earlier than the Haut-Brion, 20-24 May. It has a more understated bouquet than Haut-Brion and consequently demands more coaxing, eventually revealing very pure raspberry and wild strawberry scents mixed with wet limestone and hints of wilted rose petal. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, very focused and refined with darker fruit compared to the nose. Traces of tar and cedar surface towards the classic finish that linger nicely, although Haut-Brion just has a tad more persistence and depth. Superb. Drink 2023-2050.
The 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion was picked from 4 to 29 September and matured in 68% new oak with 14.1° alcohol. It has a more broody bouquet than previous years: dark berry fruit, brown spices, warm gravel and later, a touch of orange rind. This can sometimes be sultry out of barrel and the 2017 falls into that category. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin. This La Mission Haut-Brion is built around a wonderful structure and symmetry. It feels precise with a detailed, saline finish that lingers in the mouth. I can see Jean-Philippe Delmas’s comparison with the 2001 though I find the tannins finer in the 2017. Superb. 2023 - 2050
Composed of 56% Merlot, 4.4% Cabernet Franc and 39.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion is a little reticent on the nose to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal notes of crushed blackcurrants, Black Forest cake and Morello cherries with suggestions of cigar box, pencil shavings, charcoal and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, the palate has fantastic intensity with loads of mineral layers and a rock-solid line of firm, grainy tannins, finishing very long and with great energy. Drink 2023-2057
The 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion, blended of 56% Merlot, 39.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.4% Cabernet Franc, is very deep garnet-purple in color and scented of crushed blackcurrants, blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with suggestions of cigar box, bay leaves, Indian spices and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied with very firm, grainy tannins and a racy backbone supporting the taut, muscular fruit, it has bags of mineral and earthy suggestions layering the very long finish.
This is a very tight and focused young La Mission with a pretty center palate of dark fruit and flavors of oyster shell and hints of fresh tobacco. Serious and precise on the finish. 56% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 4% cabernet franc.
The 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion is a wine of total finesse and class. Pliant and expressive, the 2017 is beautifully layered from start to finish. Bright red cherry, plum, mocha, pomegranate and blood orange all add to an impression of grace and freshness. This is one of the most refined, understated recent vintages of La Mission I can remember tasting.
Deep cassis colour. Gorgeous restraint of fine dusty dark fruit. Definite graphite/mineral aroma undergirded by fragrant cassis and a light herbaceous note. Delicious pure black fruit, super-fine texture, the tannins fine and supple. Juicy even with its serious elegance. Succulent, long and precisely balanced. Persistent, too. Intensity without weight. All waiting in the wings. On second tasting, the oak shows a little more on the finish but it is in place, not dominating.
Picked from 4th to 29th September, this is made from 56% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. This is exotic and warm on the nose compared to many wines this vintage, with a deep, plummy, black cherry fragrance. The palate offers notes of blueberry and creamy vanilla with hints of dark chocolate and even truffles. The notes of roasted coffee and black fruit build on the finish, which increases the power and depth and taming the chalky tannins. This is a powerful, concentrated, hedonists' wine in 2017.
The nose has charm fragrance and freshness yet richness the palate the same bilberry at the start backed by ripe black cherry. The mid richness is backed by fine but firm tannins slightly closed and reserved at the back the finish fragrant and long. 2025-43
The aromatics here are incredible, and there is the most gorgeous density of black brambly fruit on display. It's graceful but intense, and utterly delicious . It doesn't have the same intensity through the palate as the wonderful 2016, but it really does stand out in the vintage as being extremely good quality. It's going to take its time to come round, so settle in for the long haul. 51% of overall crop. 3.86pH.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
When I picked up the glass, I said under my breath, ‘this is heavier’, and it is – cue much mirth. The statistics above prove this and the colour is much darker than the second wine, but the real clue comes from the nose, which is dense, foresty, spicy and unyielding. The graphite tones are riveting and the tannins are powerful and upright. A long-lived wine with obvious structure and density, this is a quite different style to La Chapelle, which has clearly taken all of the red-fruited material and left the dense and bold grapes for this wine. Do not approach it for a decade, because there is both graininess and also dryness here, which creeps forward on the palate and you must let it retire right the way back to the finish to achieve balance. This is undoubtedly a remarkable wine and one which sits a little outside of the vintage. The only real clue to its year is the devastating acidity which brings shocking drama to the whole. Along with its stablemate, this is one of the wines of the vintage.