La Mission Haut Brion 1990
Chateau La Mission Haut Brion
Reminiscing over the 1989 and 1990 vintages, which I have followed from birth, there always seemed to be a dramatic difference in quality. Not that the 1990 was not a top wine, but in its infancy, I never thought it would come close to being as riveting and magnetic as its older sibling, the 1989. However, it has proven to be nearly as prodigious. One of the hottest years in Bordeaux, 1990, a vintage of enormous yields, even dwarfing yields in 1985 and 1982, produced a fabulously open-knit, seemingly fast track La Mission that, at age 22, shows no signs of fading or losing its grip. The color is slightly more mature and evolved than the 1989’s, exhibiting a lighter rim and a less dark blue/ruby/purple hue. Classic La Mission-Haut-Brion aromatics of camphor, licorice, scorched earth, hot bricks, barbecue, cassis, blueberry and kirsch are well displayed. Broad, expansive, velvety-textured and opulent with high glycerin and perhaps slightly higher alcohol (I don’t have the statistics to verify that), the 1990 is as delicious and open-knit as the 1989, with less density and possibly less potential longevity. Most 1990s have been quick to reach full maturity, and as brilliant as they can be, they need to be monitored carefully by owners. Currently in late adolescence, but close to full maturity, the 1990 should hold in a cold cellar for another 15-20 years. However, it is a fabulous wine to inspect, taste and consume, so why wait?
Robert Parker score
* price for one OWC (original wooden case) in perfect condition – 12x75cl per OWC
Last Update October 2015
Chateau La Mission Haut Brion
Chateau La Mission Haut Brion is a top winery based in Bordeaux, France, located in the Pessac-Leognan appellation. The Chateau is in the famous wine growing region of Graves, with additional property in Talence. Chateau la Mission Haut Brion has been classified amongst the Grand Crus since the Graves Classification in 1953.
The chateau also produces a secondary wine labeled La Chapelle de la Mission since the 1991 vintage, mainly from its younger vines. A third, dry white wine named Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Blanc is also in production since the merger with Chateau Laville Haut Brion.
Not to be mistaken for the similar namesake Chateau Haut Brion, this prestigious winery repeatedly releases high grade wines at expensive prices, very well known for its remarkable bottle designs.
6,000 - 7,000 cases
Graves - Left Bank
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