Chateau La Mission Haut Brion   La Mission Haut Brion

1990 La Mission Haut Brion

By Chateau La Mission Haut Brion

1990 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

The 1990 vintage of Bordeaux sits lodged in the annals of winemaking history as a gilded chapter, particularly noted for the exceptional climatic conditions that gave rise to a remarkable harvest. Amongst the distinguished offerings from this year, the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion is a formidable beacon of viticultural excellence.


An Epochal Year at Pessac-Leognan

The growing season of 1990 in Pessac-Leognan proffered an idyllic concurrence of elements, allowing both the vines and their diligent custodians to craft a composition nothing short of majestic. This particular vintage magnanimously flourished under auspicious conditions – a benign winter followed by a warm but wet spring cast forward to a notably arid and searing summer, poised perfectly for ripening grapes.

The profile of the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion arcs with both gravitas and grace; its complex bouquet brandishes ripe dark fruits interlaced with profound smoky earthiness and hints of cigar box – attributes heralding a seasoned maturity yet arresting vibrancy.


A Wine Investment Paragon

In terms of wine investment, one looks for vintages that carry not merely the promise but the certainty of accolades across epochs. The 1990 La Mission Haut Brion appeals strongly to this criterion. As it graces the glass, there's an assuredness to its stature – the silky tannins meld with a powerful structure, encapsulating the very soul of Bordeaux's terroir.

With decades maturing within bottle confines, it has unfurled into a harmonious symphony wherein notes of leather and truffle have emerged to dance alongside blackcurrant and plum. The balance achieved speaks, unquestionably, to the skilful artistry at Chateau La Mission Haut Brion and the serendipitous 1990 vintage.

As investors intertwine their fortunes with liquid history, the 1990 La Mission Haut Brion stands as one of those select investments where pedigree parleys with performance – an oenophile's dream and an investor's jewel

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Scores and tasting notes


Reminiscing over the 1989 and 1990 vintages, which I have followed from birth, there always seemed to be a dramatic difference in quality. Not that the 1990 was not a top wine, but in its infancy, I never thought it would come close to being as riveting and magnetic as its older sibling, the 1989. However, it has proven to be nearly as prodigious. One of the hottest years in Bordeaux, 1990, a vintage of enormous yields, even dwarfing yields in 1985 and 1982, produced a fabulously open-knit, seemingly fast track La Mission that, at age 22, shows no signs of fading or losing its grip. The color is slightly more mature and evolved than the 1989's, exhibiting a lighter rim and a less dark blue/ruby/purple hue. Classic La Mission-Haut-Brion aromatics of camphor, licorice, scorched earth, hot bricks, barbecue, cassis, blueberry and kirsch are well displayed. Broad, expansive, velvety-textured and opulent with high glycerin and perhaps slightly higher alcohol (I don't have the statistics to verify that), the 1990 is as delicious and open-knit as the 1989, with less density and possibly less potential longevity. Most 1990s have been quick to reach full maturity, and as brilliant as they can be, they need to be monitored carefully by owners. Currently in late adolescence, but close to full maturity, the 1990 should hold in a cold cellar for another 15-20 years. However, it is a fabulous wine to inspect, taste and consume, so why wait?

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #85


The first bottle is corked. The second bottle has a deep garnet core with dark brick rim. The nose is closed at first with overt black olive aromas, autumn leaves, gibier and a hint of mown grass. The intensity builds nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with superb delineation and lovely tobacco-infused black fruits, bitter dark chocolate and great length. This is beginning to remind me of the ’82, developing that subtle dried herb character on the aftertaste with just a touch of dried figs. Divine. Drink 2010-2040. Tasted May 2008.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jul 2008

Vintage performance