La Mission Haut Brion 1989
Tasting Notes La Mission Haut Brion 1989
I have been fortunate to have tasted this magnificent wine over a dozen times in recent months and it never fails to deliver. Served blind, it is blessed with a showstopper of a nose with intense black brambly fruit, hints of smoke, sous-bois and charcoal. This bouquet is perhaps a little more “rustic” than previous bottles but it is no less compelling. The palate is very harmonious with seamless tannins – tensile, vivacious and with astonishing volume – layers of blackberry, mulberry, dried herbs and tobacco. There is a sense of weight and authority to this La Mission, allied with a completeness that is absorbing to experience first-hand. Astonishing. Tasted November 2012.
Both La Mission-Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion hit home runs in this vintage, which did not produce as many profound wines as the Bordeaux publicity machine suggested. 1989, the 200th anniversary of the French revolution, was an incredibly hot year (surpassed only by 1990 and 2003). Even from barrel the seamless 1989 La Mission revealed a special elixir aspect, tasting like it had been designed by Chanel. It still possesses a blue/purple color with only a hint of garnet creeping in, and the explosive aromatics offer up notes of licorice, creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur, smoky barbecue meats, truffles and graphite. If that's not enough to get one salivating, the palate has never disappointed either. Full-bodied with extraordinary opulence as well as sweet, well-integrated, velvety tannins, this fresh, lively, blockbuster La Mission appears to be one of those rare wines that never goes through a closed, unfriendly stage. It has been a compelling, multidimensional effort from barrel, in its infancy, and as it heads into late adolescence. A remarkable tour de force in winemaking, it is one of the all-time profound La Mission-Haut-Brions. Anticipated maturity: now-2050.