Château La Mission Haut Brion, Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan
    Château La Mission Haut-Brion

    Château La Mission Haut Brion, Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan,

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    vintage

    Château La Mission Haut Brion, Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan, 1996

    Justerini & Brooks Tasting note
    Château La Mission Haut Brion, Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan, 1996
    ABV:
    13%
    93/100
    Neal Martin, Vinous
    The 1996 La Mission Haut-Brion is an improvement on the previous vintage, though it remains a couple of steps behind the high point of the decade, which came two years later. This is quintessential 1996 Pessac, featuring scents of warm gravel and scorched earth on a nose that might be classic to some, but a bit dour to others with a penchant for more hedonistic wines. It’s a structured 1996, drier and more austere than the 1998, but there is good grip and delineation, if maybe just a little leafiness toward the finish. Over the years I have found a bit of bottle variation, and this example falls between the best and worst. Overall, I expected more given the vintage. Give this a couple of hours’ decanting. Tasted at the Vinous 1996 horizontal at Berry Brothers & Rudd.
    Date Reviewed:
    09/2021

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    Château La Mission Haut-Brion

    Château La Mission Haut-Brion

    Haut Brion’s sister property has a habit of trumping its more illustrious sibling. Owned by Domaine Clarence Dillon S.A., La Mission’s vineyards lie in the same suburbs as those of Haut Brion on deep gravel croupes interspersed with clay. The cepage is not dissimilar in the red wine (48% Cabernet, 45% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc) although the Haut Brion Blanc (formally Laville Haut Brion) has a lot more Semillon in the blend than Haut Brion Blanc.

    Stylistically, La Mission Haut Brion rouges is more accessible and open than the deeply mineral and slightly introverted Haut Brion when young, but given time the Haut Brion will begin to show its power. Both wines reward long term aging to be at their best.

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