This is undisputably the wine of the vintage, a year that was clearly over-exposed and over-rated, largely because it was better than the four vintages that preceded it ... The 1975 La Mission-Haut-Brion, which consistently received perfect scores in its first thirty years of life, remains a vibrant, vital wine... (and) possesses enough evidence of greatness to stand alone as the finest 1975... a blockbuster for its first 20-30 years of life. While much of the fat has faded away, the wine still possesses a vitality and vigor that belies its 37 years of age. The color is a dark garnet with just a touch of lightening at the rim. Notes of camphor, wood charcoal, black fruits, plums, cedar, damp earth, truffles, asphalt and smoke result in a fabulous set of aromatics that are nothing short of compelling. Based on the aromatics alone, this offering would merit a perfect score, but some of the nasty tannins in this vintage are beginning to make their presence known on the palate. Nevertheless, this is a freak for the year - very concentrated, dense and remarkably youthful. It will undoubtedly provide extraordinary drinking for another 30-50 years. Nothing about this wine indicates it can't keep going, although its one-time perfection has faded ever so slightly. This amazing effort is a truly profound wine in another disastrous vintage in Bordeaux! (RP)
I have had the pleasure to taste the powerful 1975 La Mission on several occasions, and while I have always been impressed with the quality of the wine, I am not quite as smitten with this vintage as several other commentators. The deep and classic La Mission bouquet soars from the glass in a slightly horsey blend of cassis, dark berries, saddle leather, plenty of chipotle pepper, tobacco, herbs, plenty of dark soil tones and a topnote of cigar box. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very complex, with a rock solid core of fruit, plenty of tannins still waiting to be resolved and outstanding length and grip on the very powerful finish. While this wine is already drinkable, it seems to me that it remains a bit primary on both the nose and palate and will continue to improve if allowed to stay in the cellar another five to ten years. There is certainly no rush to drink it, as it is a very structured, old-fashioned style of La Mission that should last for decades to come. (Drink between 2015-2065) 94+ points
This is a legend in the market, but I have never thought it was perfection. The nose is impressive with dried stones, sweet tobacco and dried dark fruits. It is full-bodied with loads of ripe fruit, iodine, and sea salt flavors. It is full, powerful, and chewy. Turns dry from the tannins on the finish.
Very good medium red. Redcurrant, plum and tobacco aromas show a somewhat cool, primary quality. Dense and still rather youthfully tight in the mouth; offers a supple texture but comes across as distinctly less sweet than these other vintages of La Mission. Tannins are lively and harmonious, but the finish shows the dry edge that characterizes the 1975 vintage. Still developing. Drink now through 2030. 93(+?) points.
The label says Graves even though of course it is now Pessac-Léognan. This was served blind alongside its stablemate La Tour Haut-Brion. It was a remarkable combination of right-bank richness but finished with left-bank dryness, which led me to suspect a wine from the Haut-Brion stable, although it had none of the 'warm bricks' of Ch Haut-Brion itself. In fact it was a marvel of concentration – particularly at 40 years of age. The nose was extraordinarily rich with a strong hint of chestnuts. Amazing concentration and richness but still with a firm, dry finish. I could imagine this was quite a tough brute in its youth but it has come round now. Patience rewarded. 18/20 points. (JR)
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