Opulence is the descriptive term for this wine. The first impression is a richness of aromas. The woodsy vanilla scent so discreet as a fragrance melds in the mouth with its extremely silky, soft and dense tannins. Whiffs of ripe fruit, banana and blackberry dominate the powerful aroma of this wine. The close is long, complex and above all denotes an exceptional harmony.
The last year of the millennium will be remembered for several extraordinary meteorological events. First came the eclipse of the sun on August 11th. The second phenomena consisted of two extremely violent storms that struck the Sud-Ouest. One came on August 7th and was severe but short lived and the second struck on December 27th with an unprecedented violence. It lasted from sundown until the wee hours of the morning with the hiatus being between 8PM to 10PM. It wreaked havoc on the entire region. Ultimately, 1999 was a relatively hot year and 2% warmer than the mean temperatures recorded during the past forty years. This is a considerable difference. For the most part the year will go down as one with brutal climactic events. July was dry with the exception of three days of violent storms. In a few hours the rainfall surpassed 35% of the usual July precipitation. The rain continued at the beginning of August but the weather changed abruptly at the time of the eclipse on August 11th. For one month not a drop fell. September 20th suddenly torrential rain returned spilling 79 millimetres in one day, a quota that entailed 125% of the usual rainfall for the entire month of September.
The medium to full-bodied 1999 La Mission Haut Brion is beautifully complex, with notes of cherry liqueur, plums, cigar smoke, fresh tobacco, and scorched earth. This deep, elegant, yet precise wine is cut from the same mold as the 1962, 1971, 1983, and 1985. Though not a heavyweight, it is gorgeously complex, supple, and both hedonistic and intellectual. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2018.
Aromas of black licorice, mineral and berries follow through to medium-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a fruity finish. Not quite as good as from barrel. Best after 2004. 5,830 cases made.