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Château-La-Mission-Haut-Brion Pessac Léognan 2005

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wa
97
ws
97
we
94
The colour of La Mission Haut-Brion is very dark. One can surmise by its depth that the wine is extremely dense. The nose has great precision. We find there the aromas of red fruit, earth, smoke, and liquorish. With the evidence of this complexity in the mouth one notes the first impression which is the surprising contrast between the concentration of the wine and its smoothness. It possesses an enveloping body, the tannins seeming almost creamy. The wine expands taking a greater dimension on the palate while seeming never ending. The equilibrium of this wine is a great trait of La Mission Haut-Brion 2005 where the intensity of the tannins is counterbalanced by an extraordinary freshness. This is one of the great vintages of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion.
Category Red Wine
Varietals
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Appellation Pessac-Leognan
Brand Château-La-Mission-Haut-Brion
  • wa97

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.

Robert Parker, April 2008
  • ws97

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.

James Suckling, March 31, 2008
  • we94

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.

Roger Voss, June 20, 2006