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La Mission Haut Brion 2021

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

Frequently the qualitative equal of sister-château 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 5,000 cases produced annually. The vineyard is planted with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot.

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Tasting Notes

Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with loamy soil, sweet spices, cigar box and licorice, the 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion is full-bodied, lively and seamless, with a deep, concentrated core of fruit framed by bright acids and supple, powdery tannins. This charming, sensual rendition of La Mission is a blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, attaining 13.4% alcohol.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (260), April 2022

The 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion is blessed with an ethereal bouquet, subtle touches of wilted iris petal and truffle infuse the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins, perfectly judged acidity, quite compact on the mid-palate with linear and correct finish. Not the most charming La Mission Haut-Brion. You could argue that it is slightly "aloof", yet intuition tells me it has something up its sleeve for later on. Patience necessary.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2022

The 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion unfurls in the glass with a complex, detailed bouquet of plums, cassis, flowers, spices, licorice and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated, its fleshy, layered core of fruit is framed by beautifully velvety tannins. In bottle, much as en primeur, this blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc is a charming, sensual rendition of La Mission. Drink 2027-2055.

Yohan Castaing, RobertParker.com, February 2024

Production across the Dillon Estates is down 10% and the Grand Vins are down 20% on last year. Abvs are all roughly 13.5%. The blend for La Mission Haut Brion is 47% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby colour. The nose is led by clove, nutmeg and allspice, together with roasted plums and fleshy steeped cherries. Dense in structure, with a full, chalky depth wrapping up the red fruit at the middle. Earthy, gravelly tones match sweet kirsch and build towards the finish. Baking spices sit sweetly against the savoury, mouthcoating tannins on the finish. Long and muscular.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, April 2022

Lots of sea-salt, iodine and purple-fruit aromas and flavors to this. Turns to bark and forest floor. Powerful. Full-bodied and muscular. 47.9% merlot, 45.8% cabernet sauvignon and 6.3% cabernet franc.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2022

A blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion is deep garnet-purple colored. Is a little closed to begin, soon revealing notes of crushed blackcurrants, fresh black raspberries, and mulberries, plus suggestions of pencil shavings, roses, and Sichuan pepper. Medium-bodied, the palate is tightly knit with delicate black and red berry layers, supported by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and mineral-laced.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022

Plenty of classic La Mission finesse and balance, touches of cloves and velvety tannins, this is surpremely balanced and elegant, with pummice stone minerality. It is a little taut on the finish in its tannic structure and no question majors more heavily on the cool blue fruit character than we have seen with this property in recent years. Seriously enjoyable, a total masterclass in cool climate fruit delivery. Easy to recommend. 73% new oak, harvest september 20 to October 8. No frost impact here and very little mildew, meaning the overall yield was up to 47hl/h, extremely generous for the vintage.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, April 2022

47.9% Merlot, 45.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.3% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
A mix of refined power and elegance. Deep crimson hue. Fragrant dark fruit and cassis notes as the wine opens. Texturally very fine with plentiful tannins that are coated and smooth. Lovely freshness accompanied by persistence and drive. Great balance. Plenty of potential. (JL) 13.4%
Drink 2030 – 2050

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2022
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.