Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Pessac-Leognan [Pre-arrival] 2018
JD100: Although it emerges from a similar terroir and the same winemaking team, the 2018 Château La Mission Haut-Brion is a dramatically different wine than the Haut-Brion and has a more concentrated, dense, powerful style that is all potential at this point. Dense purple-hued, with lots of crème de cassis, black cherries, smoked meats, lead pencil, graphite, and crushed stone aromatics, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a concentrated mid-palate, masses of ripe tannins, integrated acidity, and one hell of a finish. This blockbuster, backward, monster of a La Mission Haut-Brion needs to be forgotten for a good decade (or more) but is going to be just about immortal.
WA99: The 2018 La Mission Haut-Brion is a blend of 53.5% Merlot, 42.9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3.6% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it emerges from the glass with a first wave of stewed black and red plums, mulberries and black raspberries scents, followed by pronounced notions of warm cassis, clove oil, violets and chocolate box, with hints of cast-iron pan, pencil lead and forest floor coming through after a few minutes. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with energy, delivering layers of red and black fruits with earthy and mineral sparks and a texture so satiny you need to remember to look for it, finishing with amazing vibrancy. This is so wonderfully evocative and singular, and yet it feels like its holding something back. It makes for an impressive glass right now, but give it a good 5 years in bottle to allow further nuances to emerge and expect it to seriously reward those who can wait a good 12-15 years, when it should really hit its stride.
JS98: Enticing aromas of currant, crushed stone, blueberry, lead pencil, iodine and graphite follow through to a full body with round, chewy tannins that are polished and powerful, yet balanced and beautiful. In the end, the tannins are compact and tight at the finish. But you want to drink it.