La Mission Haut Brion 2008
Tasting Notes La Mission Haut Brion 2008
Tasted ex-chateau and single blind in Southwold. Two bottles tasted and I was initially parsimonious with my score since it seems to have closed down. Allowing the wine to continually aerate, it finally agrees to reveal what is impressive ripeness “under the bonnet”, with blackberry, scorched earth, graphite and even a touch of honey. But it is just glimpses of what will evolve with time. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins, a little edgy and tense, vivacious with a very crisp, focused finish with beautifully integrated oak. Once the aromatics awaken, this will be superb. Tasted January 2012.
Like a lot of wines in this underrated vintage, the 2008 La Mission was one of the great bargains of recent vintages. Its healthy blue/purple color is followed by aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, licorice, truffles, underbrush and forest floor. The scorched earthy/smoky character of this estate's terroir has not yet emerged. Medium to full-bodied and concentrated with good acidity, freshness and delineation, this is a big wine for the vintage, but also very classic in its balance of tannin, acidity and extract. It will benefit from another 5-7 years of cellaring and should keep for three decades. The final blend was 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.
Fascinating aromas of crushed berry, plums, sweet tobacco and stones. Full bodied, with chewy and velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is very structured and rich with a bright and tangy acidity. Needs time to come together, obviously. Try after 2015.