A gorgeous red, with sweet tobacco, plums and ripe strawberries and hints of cigar box. Full body, with chewy and ripe tannins and a creamy texture. Dense and rich, yet so balanced and beautiful. Second wine of La Mission Haut-Brion. Better in 2016.
A plush, modern style version, with a rounded feel to the spice-tinged structure that supports the fleshy blackberry and raspberry confiture flavors. Fruitcake and dark anise chime in the background and echo through the suave, well-coated finish. Best from 2014 through 2025. (JM)
The second wine, the 2009 La Chapelle de la Mission, is essentially an equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with slightly more Cabernet Franc that came in at 14.2% natural alcohol. It reveals an extraordinary meaty nose displaying hints of volcanic soils, burning embers, sweet black currants, blueberries, plums, tobacco leaf and wet stones. This tasty, full-bodied, supple-textured beauty should drink well for 15-20 years. (RP)
Deep ruby. Deep, complex nose of blackcurrant, coffee and fresh herbs. Similarly complex on the palate, offering rich yet fresh flavors of black fruits, aromatic herbs and cocoa along with a hint of violet. This long, youthfully chewy wine is much bigger than the very good 2008. Like La Mission, this has improved greatly since the Primeurs, when I probably underrated it by a point or two. Don't think I'm crazy when I tell you that this wine is very close in quality to some La Missions from lesser vintages of the past. (ST)
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