The 2005 La Mission Haut-Brion is a wine that I have had the pleasure of tasting on several occasions. The most recent bottle, included in a 2005 horizontal, puts it in a very favorable light even against strong competition. The bouquet bursts from the glass with intense blackberry, cedar and tobacco scents, plus background aromas of fig and damson, as you would expect from a warm summer. The palate is structured, yet the Merlot content (at 69%, the highest in many years) renders this Pessac-Léognan much more pliant than others from this vintage. A mélange of red and black fruits vie for attention, followed by warm gravel and black olives. Quite rich and yet not grippy; with decanting, you could broach this now, though personally I would prefer to leave it for several more years. Outstanding.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2060
Tasted blind. Big and rich and sweet and spicy. Really exciting cocktail of ingredients. But still very young. A bit dry on the end.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040
Robert Parker 98+
Another massive effort, the inky/purple-colored 2005 La Mission-Haut-Brion is broodingly backward and foreboding. The aromatic profile offers hints of charcoal, freshly laid hot tar, truffles, graphite and black fruits. Full-bodied, powerful, tannic and almost painfully extracted and concentrated with tremendous structure, good acidity and a massive finish, this infant wine is largely unchanged since I first tasted it from bottle. If everything comes together in 10-15 years, this brilliant 2005 should merit a triple digit score. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050+.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050