| CH HAUT BRION Bordeaux Blends from Bordeaux, France 2005 1.5L|
Robert Parker: 97 Points Wine Advocate # 176 Apr 2008 Robert Parker 97 Drink: 2016 - 2048 There 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-Brionís 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. The rivalry between the two great Pessac-Leognan estates of Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion continues despite the fact that since 1983, both wines have been made by the same winemaking team. Jean-Bernard Delmas has moved fifty miles north to Montrose, but his son, Jean-Philippe, has produced both wines following the 2003 vintage. La Mission is obviously made in a different style than Haut-Brion. It will never have as much nuance and nobility aromatically. It does possess more muscle, concentration, and opulence than Haut-Brion, but both offer prodigious styles of wine.