2002 La Mission Haut Brion
By Chateau La Mission Haut Brion
2002 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
In the vast tapestry of Bordeaux vintages, the 2002 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion emerges as an exemplary specimen. This vintage, born of a year that challenged both viticulturists and vignerons alike with its capricious climate, transcends expectations – a testament to the mettle and resilience of Pessac-Leognan's terroir.
Precocious Potential for the Patient Investor
The year 2002 neatly sidestepped the heatwaves that scalded European vineyards in the preceding and subsequent years. The result was a season that concluded with an Indian summer – ideal for fine-tuning the ripening grapes. In my experience, it is precisely these conditions that have imbued the 2002 La Mission Haut Brion with its quintessential balance; a blend so harmonious that one could easily forget the adversity of its vintage year.
Upon assessing this wine – now at full stride in maturity – the palate is greeted by intricate layers of blackcurrant, tobacco leaf, and undercurrents of cedar wood. The textured tannins, once robust in their youth, have softened to a supple, yet present framework. This compositional hallmark bears significance not only in taste but also in the longevity that discerning collectors seek in a wise investment.
A Bordeaux Vintage Bright with Complexity
Flashes of complexity register in each sip; notes of truffle and wet earth intermingle with a hint of smoked spices– features emblematic of a wine that has spent two decades subtly developing its narrative within the bottle. True to form, the 2002 vintage expresses itself with both subtlety and gravitas – evoking an intimate dialogue with Pessac-Leognan's storied terrain.
In summation, the 2002 La Mission Haut Brion gracefully asserts itself as one of those enigmatic wines where investors might relish both its distinction amidst Bordeaux peers and its inherent value appreciation potential. A bottle for those who value poise over pomp and finesse over flourish; herein lies a refined pillar of any serious oenophile's cache.
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Scores and tasting notes
This angularly-styled La Mission possesses hard tannin that may or may not dissipate over time. It exhibits a dark ruby color in addition to a sweet perfume of dusty, loamy soil notes interwoven with notions of white flowers, blueberries, black currants, and hints of toasty oak in the background. Medium-bodied and austere, it requires 2-4 years of bottle age, and should keep for 12-15.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #158
Tasted blind at Farr’s 2002 Bordeaux tasting. This has a reserved tertiary nose, lots of autumnal scents: bonfires, brown leaves, sous-bois. The palate is medium-bodied, tannic and forthright on the entry, notes of blackberry, raspberry, sandalwood and a touch of spice, leading to a vibrant but foursquare finish that would benefit from a little more length and conviction. Tasted October 2009.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2010