Chateau La Mission Haut Brion is not quite as old as Chateau Haut Brion. La Mission Haut Brion only dates back to the late 16th century. The property came into being after it was purchased by Jean de Pontac in 1533. Pontac was also the owner of what later became Chateau Haut Brion. Jean de Pontac was responsible for the birth of several of the best estates and vineyards in Bordeaux.
Chateau La Mission Haut Brion as well as Chateau Haut Brion are currently managed by Jean-Philippe Delmas. Jean-Philippe is the third generation of the Delmas family to manage Haut Brion and the second to take care of La Mission Haut Brion, where he followed in the footsteps of his well-known father, Jean-Bernard Delmas and his grandfather before him.
To produce the red wine of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, the wine is vinified in large, 180 hectoliter, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats and aged in 100% new, French oak for an average of 22 months. The annual production of La Mission Haut Brion averages between 6,000 and 7,000 cases per year.
Interestingly, the blending for Chateau La Mission Haut Brion takes place shortly after Malolactic fermentation is finished and before the aging process in barrel has started. This is because the property feels it’s better to blend the wines before the influence of the wood begins to be felt in the wine.
The 2005 La Mission Haut-Brion is pure perfection. It has an absolutely extraordinary nose of sweet blackberries, cassis and spring flowers with some underlying minerality, a full-bodied mouthfeel, gorgeously velvety tannins (which is unusual in this vintage) and a long, textured, multi-layered finish that must last 50+ seconds. This is a fabulous wine and a great effort from this hallowed terroir. Drink this modern-day legend over the next 30+ years. Only 5,500 cases were produced of this blend of 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc. [100 points, Robert Parker Jr. – August 2012, robertparker.com]