A candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2009 La Mission-Haut-Brion stood out as one of the most exceptional young wines I had ever tasted from barrel, and its greatness has been confirmed in the bottle. A remarkable effort from the Dillon family, this is another large-scaled La Mission that tips the scales at 15% alcohol. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (47% of each) and the rest Cabernet Franc, it exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a magnificent bouquet of truffles, scorched earth, blackberry and blueberry liqueur, subtle smoke and spring flowers. The wine's remarkable concentration offers up an unctuous/viscous texture, a skyscraper-like mouthfeel, sweet, sumptuous, nearly over-the-top flavors and massive density. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime La Mission-Haut-Brion, the 2009 will take its place alongside the many great wines made here since the early 1920s. The good news is that there are nearly 6,000 cases of the 2009. It should last for 50-75+ years. Given the wine's unctuosity and sweetness of the tannin, I would have no problem drinking it in about 5-6 years. (RP)
What a gorgeous nose of ripe dark fruits such as bramble berries, blueberries and currants, with hints of orange flowers. This is so tight and focused, with laser-guided tannins. It starts very slowly and then builds and builds and builds on the palate. Currants and blackberries galore, yet a tangy, firm and creamy textured tannin structure. Racy, muscular structure. Try in 2021.
Bright, deep ruby. Brooding, complex cabernet sauvignon-dominated nose of uncommon depth, offering notes of cassis, cigar box, minerals, cedar and dry herbs. Extremely pure and fresh, with massive but still totally unevolved flavors of blackcurrant, dark plum and minerals. I love this wine's impeccable balance and smooth, tactile finish. A monumental La Mission with outstanding persistence. (ST) 97+
The 2009 La Mission Haut-Brion has a wonderful, extravagant bouquet with a slight medicinal note (not apparent on the bottle poured blind the following week) infusing the precocious red fruit, all beautifully defined with star anise and bayleaf developing. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very well judged acidity, precocious in style with a long finish that maintains that medicinal leitmotif. Wonderful. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits' Ten Year On tasting. (NM)
Such a generous and ripe wine, with a dark core of tannins surrounded by opulent fruit. Black fruits, coffee, very concentrated flavors, a powerhouse of structure and richness. The warmth of the wine is palpable, as is the aging potential. *Cellar Selection* (RV)
This is forcefully rendered, with dark tar, espresso and chocolate up front, backed by dense layers of fig sauce, currant reduction and smoldering black tea leaves. There's dense flesh and great drive on the finish, which has serious grip. Best from 2016 through 2035. (JM)
Wonderfully complex nose. Lots of Cabernet influence. Sleek and less burly than Haut-Brion. More of a polished lounge lizard than an Olympic sportsman. Actually 15.1% apparently, although the bottle says 14.5%. Tougher and drier on the finish. 18.5+/20 points. (JR)
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