Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 2016

SKU
LMCM201610 UCAU
  • "The 2016 has that extra edge, a "je ne sais quoi" that leaves you reaching for the thesaurus looking for superlatives." Neal Martin
  • "Dense, and yet so finessed that you could almost drink it today. Wow." Jane Anson, Decanter
  • "Starts very slowly and then takes off. Love the energy in this." James Suckling
  • 1 or more bottles
    $850.00
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  • Neal Martin
    100* points
  • Decanter
    98 points
  • Wine Enthusiast
    98* points
  • James Suckling
    97* points
  • Jancis Robinson
    18.5+ points

Editors notes

The 2016 La Mission Haut Brion is a blend of 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

"It has a clean and precise, quite understated bouquet with fine mineralité, cold stone aromas infusing the black fruit. This has incredible precision, perhaps even more pixelated than the "gaff over the road" Haut-Brion. The palate is medium-bodied with supple and lithe tannin. I appreciate the line of acidity here, the smoothness and harmony that takes your breath away. Every atom is infused with life-affirming freshness. It is a wine bridled with incredible focus and delineation." Neal Martin

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Neal Martin

    100*
    "The 2016 La Mission Haut Brion is a blend of 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 19 September and 14 October, one of the longest ever. "We had to be patient and wait for each plot," Jean-Philippe Delmas told me. "It took longer than usual." As is customary, I allowed my sample, and likewise all the wines poured at this tasting, around 40-45 minutes to open since they always transform in the glass. It has a clean and precise, quite understated bouquet with fine mineralité, cold stone aromas infusing the black fruit. This has incredible precision, perhaps even more pixelated than the "gaff over the road" Haut-Brion. The palate is medium-bodied with supple and lithe tannin. I appreciate the line of acidity here, the smoothness and harmony that takes your breath away. Every atom is infused with life-affirming freshness. It is a wine bridled with incredible focus and delineation. I thought that the 2015 La Mission Haut-Brion flirted with perfection. The 2016 has that extra edge, a "je ne sais quoi" that leaves you reaching for the thesaurus looking for superlatives. 98-100 points. Drink Date: 2026 - 2070"
  • Decanter

    98
    "Wonderful La Mission this year, graceful but with an unmistakable sense of controlled power. The wine just expands outwards and upwards in your mouth - insistent but terribly polite about it. It is deep and silky, shot through with coffee grounds, damson and soft cassis on a creamy mid-palate, utterly beautiful. There is a real energy and vitality here, with a caressing texture to the tannins and huge persistency on the finish. Dense, and yet so finessed that you could almost drink it today. Wow. The blend is 57.5% Merlot and 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon with a pH of 3.66, harvested between 19th September and 14th October. Drinking Window 2027 - 2050 Tasted by Jane Anson"
  • Wine Enthusiast

    98*
    "Barrel Sample. This is a seductive, rounded and smooth wine, with fine fruit that cushions the solid tannins. It has spicy tones and ample acidity as well as delicious, concentrated fruitiness. This is going to be a beautiful wine. 96-98 points."
  • James Suckling

    97*
    "The texture to this is very beautiful with chewy yet very polished tannins. Full-bodied, tight and mouth-filling. Starts very slowly and then takes off. Love the energy in this. 96-97 points."
  • Jancis Robinson MW

    18.5+
    "Glowing deep crimson. Very intense and ripe. Snazzy and spicy. Polished and racy. Very firm and lots of ripe tannins – very much à La Mission. Super-sophisticated. Inky and fresh and so ripe and confident. A dry style but great. Racy but tannic. Drink 2027-2050"

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Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux produces some of the most highly sought after and revered wines in the world. Located close to the coast, in the south-west of France the town and is divided by the Gironde River. Wines to the west of the river are referred to as left bank, and are Cabernet dominant. To the East of the river, on the right bank Merlot is the dominant grape variety. Throughout the 57 appellations, over 10,000 wine-making châteaux grow the red grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These are commonly blended and collectively referred to as clarets. Smaller amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in Bordeaux.

In 1855, due to the high export demands of Bordeaux wines, Emporer Napoleon III requested an official Bordeaux classification system, based on market costs of the wines at the time. The Chateaux were classified in to five ‘growths’ from first growth to fifth growth and cru Bourgois. Also in 1855 The Sauternes and Barsac classification covered the sweeter wines, with Chateau d’Yquem the only Superior First Growth, followed by Premiers Crus and Deux Deuxièmes Crus.

Graves

Graves is a large appellation for both white and red wines in Bordeaux, France. It sits south of the city of Bordeaux, bordered by the Garonne River to the east and the Landes forest to the west. It is also Bordeaux’s oldest viticultural zone, with grapegrowing dating back as far as the Middle Ages. The appellation takes its name from the gravelly soils that dominate vineyards here. Graves makes dry white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. These wines are citrusy, fruity, and floral, with some nutty notes and a hint of minerality, and they can gain both body and refinement with age. For red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape variety, and there are plantings of Merlot, too. These reds boast floral and spicy aromas and rich flavours of blackberry. Premium examples can be impressive expressions, with ageing potential of five to 15 years.

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About the brand Chateau la Mission Haut-Brion

The wines of Château La Mission Haut-Brion owe their success to the singularity of their terroir. The producer harvests the grapes by hand according to their ripeness, then sorts and destalks them. The fruit goes into vats during which the temperature gradually increases to initiate grape fermentation. The château makes both exceptional red and wine wines. The reds are complex, full-bodied, and rich, with the blend adapting according to the vintage. Château La Mission Haut-Brion blanc (formerly, Château Laville Haut-Brion) is a dry white wine for the initiated. It boasts the distinct characteristics of a Graves Sémillon grown on these esteemed terroirs. The 29-hectare vineyard spans land in both Talence and Pessac and sits just a few kilometres southwest of Bordeaux’s city centre. It falls under the Pessac-Léognan appellation, in the northern part of the Graves winegrowing area. The property lies opposite Château Haut-Brion and shares that renowned château’s exceptional gravelly soils. This soil sits on a unique subsoil of clay, sand, limestone, and shelly sand. Most of the vineyard plantings are red grape varieties – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc – with just more than 4 hectares dedicated to the white varieties Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

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