The 2003 La Mission Haut-Brion is a large-scaled wine offering a distinctive bouquet of scorched earth, black cherry liqueur, and hints of blackberries, blueberries, graphite, and smoke. Ripe, heady, full-bodied, soft, and revealing considerable complexity, low acidity, and a broad, expansive mouthfeel.
WA93 drink 2008-2026. The top wines of this vintage tend to be from St.-Emilion’s limestone hillsides and the corridor between St.-Julien and St.-Estephe, but the 2003 La Mission-Haut-Brion is a very successful effort from the south. Roasted herb, scorched earth, sweet black currant and tar-like aromas jump from the glass of this evolved, mature effort. While copious tannins are still present, the acid is low and the wine is loosely structured, complex, seductive, fleshy and full. It seems to be aging quickly, so owners are well-advised to check a bottle or two as it appears to be close to full maturity. The 2003 is unlikely to last as long as more classic vintages.
WA 95 WS 92
- over 7 years
International Wine Cellar(2006 Vintage) Red-ruby. Classic aromas of plum, raspberry, tobacco, smoke and warm stones. Sweet, lush and generous but with the brightness of the vintage. In an essentially easygoing style. Finishes broad and soft, with plenty of ripe, mouthcoating tannins and noteworthy persistence.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(1975 Vintage) I have a thing about well aged La Mission. I love the combination of dark fruit with flavors of cedar and tobacco. But on the night, this wine had more aromatics and showed aged fruit dominated by the expected notes of earth, cedar, leather and tobacco. It is well-balanced and ends in a medium to long finish, but it is also more mature than other bottles I have had. And to make matters worse, the Gemello stole its limelight, by being more Graves than the Graves itself. 93 points.
International Wine Cellar(1975 Vintage) Very good medium red. Redcurrant, plum and tobacco aromas show a somewhat cool, primary quality. Dense and still rather youthfully tight in the mouth; offers a supple texture but comes across as distinctly less sweet than these other vintages of La Mission. Tannins are lively and harmonious, but the finish shows the dry edge that characterizes the 1975 vintage. Still developing. Drink now through 2030.
International Wine Cellar(1995 Vintage) Rating: 91(+?) - As reviewed by International Wine Cellar in Issue 78, May/June 1998. Good full red. Pungent redcurrant, mineral, plum, coffee and smoke aromas. Penetrating, firm, and tightly wound, with excellent intensity and delineation of flavor; hiding its density today. Very long and firm on the back end; tannins coat the entire mouth. A strong showing for this wine.
International Wine Cellar(2004 Vintage) Bright medium ruby. Inky aromas of black fruits and licorice. Densely packed but a bit reduced, with flavors of crushed dark berries. Finishes with rather substantial tannins for this wine. As promising a vintage for this second wine as I recall tasting in recent years.