La Mission Haut Brion 2003
Tasting Notes La Mission Haut Brion 2003
This is a giant wine with lots of muscular tannins and rich fruit. Full and beautiful, very ‘Cabernet’ with currants and spices in the forefront. Broad shouldered, with notes of fresh mushrooms, pure fruit, souis bois, and a very long, long finish. This shows incredible class for the vintage. Robert de Luxembourg says it reminds him of the 1975 vintage with the powerful tannins. Pull the cork after 2015.
The 2003 La Mission Haut-Brion shows more creme de cassis, plenty of cedar wood, melted licorice and charcoal in a medium to full-bodied wine. It is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Rustic tannins in the back knock down the ultimate pleasure, and the point score, ever so slightly, but there’s no doubting the complex, perfumey, noble aromatics this wine has managed to attain despite the staggering heat and drought in June, July and August. This has reached full maturity, but should hold nicely for another 7-10 years. Here’s a case where the second wine comes very close in quality to its bigger sibling, possibly because it is showing great complexity and is even more evolved than the Mission Haut-Brion. 2003 was tough in the Pessac-Leognan because of the lighter soils and the enormous heat and drought. Hence, the harvest here started in mid-August, which was historic.
Tasted at Bordeaux Index’s “10-Year On” tasting in London. The La Mission ‘03 has a delicate bouquet that takes time to muster energy – eventually offering wild hedgerow and briary notes, a touch of leather and a hint of orange blossom. The palate is medium-bodied with furry tannins. There is certainly good weight and control here with an attractive tertiary finish laced with fennel and white pepper. Perhaps this just has the edge over the Haut-Brion at the moment? Fine. Tasted March 2013.