Château-La-Mission-Haut-Brion Pessac Léognan 2005
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Wine SpectatorThe Indian spices and blackberry on the nose are so enticing and inspiring, leading to a full-bodied palate, with very polished tannins that caress. Goes on and on as this builds on the palate, with a mineral and berry aftertaste. For long-term aging. Best after 2015.
Wine AdvocateThere are slightly more than 5,000 cases of the 2005 La Mission-Haut-Brion, a blend of 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a touch of Cabernet Franc. While there is little difference between La Mission and Haut-Brion's terroirs (their vineyards are only separated by a two-lane road), La Mission possesses more fat, texture, and intensity. An enormously endowed wine with huge tannin and structure, the 2005 offers a quintessential Graves bouquet of burning embers, charcoal, blackberries, truffles, black currants, and a meaty character. Reminiscent of the 1989, with more structure as well as a longer window of drinkability, the 2005 may be a modern day, improved version of a vintage such as 1955, which was well-endowed, very tannic, and took a long time to come around. While fabulously full-bodied and unctuous, the 2005 will not provide much charm in its youth. It needs 8-10 years of cellaring, and should age effortlessly for 30-40 years.
Wine Enthusiast93-95 Barrel sample. A surprisingly gentle wine, almost delicate, with smooth flavors, a texture like deep velvet curtains and, dominating at the end, acidity.