The 1983 vintage of La Mission Haut-Brion is a very lovely wine that was quite structured in its youth, but as it reaches thirty years of age, it has blossomed into a superb and utterly classic example of this fine year. The superb bouquet offers up a very complex blend of cassis, black cherries, a touch of eucalyptus, new leather, a nice touch of meatiness, a bit of medicinal La Mission overtones, incipient notes of black truffles, cigar smoke and chipotle pepper. On the palate the wine is deep, complex and beautifully balanced, with its full-bodied format showing off a beautiful core of fruit, a superb signature of soil, still a fair bit of moderate tannins and excellent focus and grip on the very long and well-balanced finish. A fine, fine vintage for La Mission that still could do with a few more years in the cellar to really reach its apogee.
Tasted at the La Mission/Haut-Brion dinner at The Ledbury. This is easily the best bottle of La Mission ’83 that I have encountered and some fellow diners preferred it to the ’82. I would not go quite that far, but its has a delectable leafy nose with black brambly fruit, sous-bois, cedar and mint, a scorched earth scent becoming more prominent with further aeration. Very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied and unexpectedly shows far more bravura and dare I say, decadence than I predicted. Blackberry, black olive, cassis and tobacco, rounded and animated towards the leafy, herbaceous finish with a captivating sense of harmony. Will I ever chance upon a bottle as good as this? Superb. Drink now-2025. Tasted September 2010. (NM, Wine Journal)
Concentrated and polished, this wine shows a deep color and intense aromas and flavors of cherry, mint, plum and lead pencil. Full-bodied and reserved with excellent tannins. (JS)
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