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-
94-96. Barrel sample. This is taut and tight, with so much spice and pepper from the high alcohol and wood aging. But it's the intensity of fruit that makes this wine such a blockbuster.
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.
This sports a pleasantly grippy edge of briar and cassis bush notes, with a densely layered core of dark fig, blackberry and black currant fruit that should move to the fore soon enough. The long, mesquite-tinged finish has solid grip. Best from 2016 thro
Tasted blind. Mid crimson. Some delicacy – and lots of tannin. Very solid and bone-dry finish. Just a bit angular but lots of concentration. Jancis Robinson
Tasted alongside Haut Brion, La Mission stole the stage with its exuberance and expressiveness. La Mission's aromatics are complex and enticing with cedar, spices and black tea notes; more subtle than La Mission. The wine has cashmere-like tannins and fine texture. All of its elements are finely knit, gorgeously layered and built for long-term ageing. This excellent wine is among my favourites from this challenging vintage. by jeannie cho lee in 2012