1996 - Ch La Mission Haut Brion Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan
Colour
Red
Producer
Château La Mission Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2007 - 2020
Case size
12x75cl
Available Now

1996 CH LA MISSION HAUT BRION CRU CLASSÉ PESSAC-LÉOGNAN - 12x75cl

Colour
Red
Producer
Château La Mission Haut-Brion
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2007 - 2020
Case size
12x75cl
Available Now
Duty Paid (Inc. VAT)
Case price £2,972.14 (Inc. VAT)
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Tasting Notes

  • RP4

    Robert Parker, April 1997,
    Score: 90-91

    At present, I would rate the 1995 La Mission slightly ahead of the 1996, only because the 1995 possesses a forward, sweet, complex, more evolved nose. It find it impossible to resist the 1995's density and richness. Nevertheless, the 1996 is an outstanding wine. The color is a dark ruby/purple, and the nose offers up roasted herbs, sweet blueberry jam, and cassis scents intermingled with earth and truffle-like aromas. Round, rich, and sweet, with medium to full body, outstanding depth, but not the weight, glycerin, and overall opulence of the 1995, the 1996 should hit its peak in 7-8 years, and last for 25. Drink: 2004-2022. Shrewd buyers should make an effort to purchase he second wine of La Mission-Haut-Brion, La Chapelle. The 1995 La Chapelle (15,000 bottles) was just about to be bottled when I visited the estate in March. It appears to be a 90-point effort. Sweet, sumptuous, and fat, with low acidity, it is bursting with a tobacco-tinged black fruit character that is impossible to resist. It is a wine to drink over the next 5-7 years while waiting for its bigger brother, La Mission-Haut-Brion, to develop.

  • RP3

    Robert Parker, January 1998,
    Score: 90-91

    The 1996 is an outstanding wine. The color is a dark ruby/purple, and the nose offers up roasted herbs, sweet blueberry jam, and cassis scents intermingled with earth and truffle-like aromas. It is round, rich, and sweet, with medium to full body, outstanding depth, but not the weight, glycerin, and overall opulence of the 1995. It should hit its peak in 7-8 years, and last for 25. Last tasted 11/97. Drink: 2004-2022.

  • RP2

    Robert Parker, February 1998,
    Score: 90-91

    La Mission's 1996 is a true vin de garde, displaying a dense, opaque ruby/purple color, and a tight but powerful personality, with reluctant aromatics. This rich wine cuts a deep, medium to full-bodied impression on the palate, and appears to need 7-8 years of cellaring. It is atypically backward for La Mission-Haut-Brion, but the wine possesses exceptional depth, and the smoky, mineral, dried herb, rich, chocolatey, berry fruit that characterizes this brawny, muscular wine. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025.

  • RP1

    Robert Parker, January 2003,
    Score: 90

    A backward, somewhat austere, muscular style of La Mission Haut-Brion, the color is still a dense, opaque ruby/purple and the aromatics shut down but promising, offering up black fruit, a hint of chocolate, and some sweet oak. The wine is a brawny, muscular, full-bodied La Mission that is going to take some time to reach its apogee. I am not sure it will not always be a somewhat austere wine compared to the top vintages for La Mission. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025. Last tasted, 9/02.

  • RP

    Robert Parker, April 1999,
    Score: 89

    The 1996 La Mission-Haut-Brion was closed and backward when I tasted it in January. The wine was bottled in summer, 1998, and should have had sufficient time to overcome any suppression from going from wood to glass. It possesses considerable potential, and I would not be surprised to see it merit an outstanding score after 2-4 years of cellaring. The color is a healthy plum/purple, and the wine exhibits some of the black fruit, smoky mineral character of La Mission, but it is medium-bodied and moderately high in tannin, with notes of cedar. The finish was totally closed, with the tannin in danger of dominating the wine's fruit. This muscular, structured La Mission will take longer to come around than I originally predicted. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020.

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, Sept 2011,
    Score: 18

    61% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon. Looks very much more evolved than the Bahans 1996. Great edge and evolution. Some oyster shells – certainly something edgy and marine on the nose. Fully evolved on the palate. Lovely mellifluous texture. Just gorgeous now with the fruit fully open and the tannins in retreat. A mineral edge. Not especially long or powerful but at its peak. So clean and health giving. Drinking dates 2005-2020

  • CC

    Clive Coates, June 2001,
    Score: 18/20

    Good colour. Lovely nose. Rich and gentlyoaky. Good class and good intensity. Not ablockbuster but quite full. Very lovelyconcentrated fruit. Lots of distinction. Finelong finish. Fine plus. Drink 2005-2018

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Producer

Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Owned by the Dillon family since 1983, La Mission Haut Brion is without doubt one of the mostexceptional wines of Bordeaux. Across the road from Haut Brion, it regularly competes with its moreillustrious older sibling and has even outperformed Haut Brion in certain vintages, such as 2006 when Wine Spectator suggests that it "could be the wine of the vintage".

Region

Pessac-Léognan

Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.