Chateau La Mission Haut Brion   La Mission Haut Brion

1989 La Mission Haut Brion

By Chateau La Mission Haut Brion

1989 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

The 1989 vintage in Bordeaux is frequently cited as one of the 20th century's most exalted years, and the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion is no mere bystander in this pantheon of excellence. As an experienced palate versed in the intricacies of Bordeaux’s liquid tapestry, I find that this particular wine encapsulates both the intensity and the elegance that discerning investors covet.


A Vintage Graced by the Sun

In Pessac-Leognan, the sublime blend of climatic conditions in '89 resulted in a harvest that was both generous in yield and remarkable in quality. The 1989 La Mission Haut Brion exemplifies this with its expressive layers of ripe fruit that carry a profound depth, signifying a confederation between nature's benevolence and human craftsmanship.

This exceptional vintage reveals a bouquet that is at once multifaceted and harmonious, with notes of blackcurrant, truffle and cigar box that evolve splendidly. On the palate, the wine asserts itself with an opulent structure, seamlessly integrating muscular tannins with a finesse that is typical of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion’s esteemed lineage. Its balance suggests a longevity which makes it a particularly enticing option for long-term wine investment.


A Testament to Time

With over three decades since its inception, the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion remains a testament to its era, showcasing how truly magnificent wines originate from idyllic vintages. Its current state offers a symphony of matured flavours where tertiary nuances come to the fore; hints of leather, forest floor and dried figs dance on the palate, ensuring each taste is an event in itself.

The investment prospects for such a storied bottle are bolstered by its continued acclaim and finessed maturity – qualities that sagely collectors prize. For those fortunate enough to acquire it, the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion stands as an emblematic marquee within any connoisseur's cache.

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Both La Mission-Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion hit home runs in this vintage, which did not produce as many profound wines as the Bordeaux publicity machine suggested. 1989, the 200th anniversary of the French revolution, was an incredibly hot year (surpassed only by 1990 and 2003). Even from barrel the seamless 1989 La Mission revealed a special elixir aspect, tasting like it had been designed by Chanel. It still possesses a blue/purple color with only a hint of garnet creeping in, and the explosive aromatics offer up notes of licorice, creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur, smoky barbecue meats, truffles and graphite. If that's not enough to get one salivating, the palate has never disappointed either. Full-bodied with extraordinary opulence as well as sweet, well-integrated, velvety tannins, this fresh, lively, blockbuster La Mission appears to be one of those rare wines that never goes through a closed, unfriendly stage. It has been a compelling, multidimensional effort from barrel, in its infancy, and as it heads into late adolescence. A remarkable tour de force in winemaking, it is one of the all-time profound La Mission-Haut-Brions. Anticipated maturity: now-2050.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #85


I have been fortunate to have tasted this magnificent wine over a dozen times in recent months and it never fails to deliver. Served blind, it is blessed with a showstopper of a nose with intense black brambly fruit, hints of smoke, sous-bois and charcoal. This bouquet is perhaps a little more “rustic” than previous bottles but it is no less compelling. The palate is very harmonious with seamless tannins – tensile, vivacious and with astonishing volume – layers of blackberry, mulberry, dried herbs and tobacco. There is a sense of weight and authority to this La Mission, allied with a completeness that is absorbing to experience first-hand. Astonishing. Tasted November 2012.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2013

Vintage performance