2011 La Mission Haut Brion
By Chateau La Mission Haut Brion
2011 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
Embarking upon the sensorial narrative of the 2011 La Mission Haut Brion from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, one is immediately struck by the vintage's particular resilience and complexity. In a year that presented numerous viticultural challenges, with dry late spring followed by an atypical summer oscillating between hot and cool periods, this wine stands emblematic of deft winemaking set against the unpredictability of nature.
Precision and Harmony Amid Adversity
The claret from the illustrious Pessac-Leognan appellation achieved a balletic poise in 2011, showcasing an estate which capitalised on the climatic adversities. Robust yet elegantly structured, the 2011 La Mission Haut Brion offers a medley of ripe dark fruit entwined with whispers of truffle and tobacco. The tannins are ripe and well-integrated, ensuring that this vintage retains its backbone while hinting at suppleness with age.
An Unmistakable Terroir Expression
A testament to its terroir, the wine effuses gravelly notes that are so synonymous with the soil of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion. Despite a growing season that necessitated fastidious vineyard management to counterbalance the weather whimsies, this expression delivers an artwork of balance between intensity and finesse. The minerality pierces through its core, laying foundational to the smoky overtones and cassis that pirouette amidst the olfactory tapestry.
For fine wine investors and connoisseurs alike, the journey with a bottle of 2011 La Mission Haut Brion uncovers buried treasure beneath its initially reserved exterior—a vintage that unravels with time to expose its intricate layers and promise longevity. This formidable Bordeaux blend is not just a beacon for enophiles aiming to diversify their portfolio; it encapsulates an era within the realm of wine investment where unwavering quality persevered through challenging seasons.
As I swirl the glass once more, I am reminded that each taste reveals another secret of this enigmatic year. Herein lies an exemplary vinous narrative—how the 2011 vintage from Chateau La Mission Haut Brion mastered a dance with vigour amidst atmospheric caprice, emerging not only unscathed but with a story to tell on one's palate.
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Scores and tasting notes
The small production (4,150 cases) of 2011 La Mission-Haut-Brion displays the nobility and complexity of this great terroir. Burning embers, scorched earth, blueberry, black currant, licorice and spice aromas jump from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored wine. With full body (atypical for a 2011), but no hard edges, this opulent, multidimensional, fleshy, rich, stunningly long, well-balanced La Mission is another great achievement in what has been nearly a century of producing remarkable wines from this hallowed vineyard. The long 2011 should be reasonably mature in another 4-6 years, and last for two decades. It will always be a revelation in a vintage that is unlikely to receive a lot of exciting press. The final blend was 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc.Jean-Philippe Delmas continues to quietly and authoritatively turn out one great wine after another at La Mission-Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #212 Apr 2014
The La Mission is a blend of 33.7% Merlot, 11.3% Cabernet Franc and 55% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose takes time to coalesce: very classic with ripe blackberry and briary fruit, fine minerality, a hint of black olive and crushed stone. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannins. This is an edgy La Mission with crisp acidity, a silver citric thread, dark broody brambly fruit and an almost angular, but very fresh, focused finish. I like the classicism of the 2011. Excellent. Tasted April 2012.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2012
A wine with pretty dark-chocolate, berry and currant character. Stones, too. Full body, chewy but polished tannins and a firm finish. Already showing the sea shell and iodine. Needs at least four or five years to soften. Reminds me of the excellent 1978. Try in 2019.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com, February 19th 2014