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La Mission Haut Brion is situated in Bordeaux' southern suburb, Talence. From 1919 and until 1983, it was Woltner family, who had owned this property. Under Woltner's reign, La Mission Haut Brion experienced one of its greatest period with string of fine vintages and was considered then as fully on the level with First Growths and sometimes even better than these. In 1983, owners of Haut Brion purchased La Mission Haut Brion and today its Jean Philippe Delmas, who's responsible for this property.
La Mission-Haut-Brion's vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 48%, Merlot 45%, Cabernet Franc 7%) lie on a large (up to 18 metres deep in places) gravel bank interspersed with clay. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats and then matured in oak barriques (100% new) for 18 months. The wines of La Mission Haut Brion are rich, oaky and powerful and need at least 10 years of bottle ageing before they should be broached.
2005 Château La Mission Haut-Brion’s tasting notes :The colour of La Mission Haut-Brion is very dark. One can surmise by its depth that the wine is extremely dense. The nose has great precision.
We find there the aromas of red fruit, earth, smoke, and liquorish. With the evidence of this complexity in the mouth one notes the first impression which is the surprising contrast between the concentration of the wine and its smoothness.
It possesses an enveloping body, the tannins seeming almost creamy. The wine expands taking a greater dimension on the palate while seeming never ending.
The equilibrium of this wine is a great trait of La Mission Haut-Brion 2005 where the intensity of the tannins is counterbalanced by an extraordinary freshness. This is one of the great vintages of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion.
Sum of temperatures : 3492 °C
Rain : 229 mm
Days where temperature above 30 °C : 32
Harvest : from 24/08/2005 to 26/09/2005
Current vintage notes
2005 will remain in our memories as a historically dry year. This characteristic
showed up already in winter when an important deficit of humidity was noted. In spite of a wet month in April, rain remained scarce right up to the vendanges. All year long the temperatures stayed on the high side. 2005 had climatic conditions very similar to the legendary vintage of 1949. Because of these elements the vines were able to produce small grapes of an extraordinary concentration, actually never before achieved, that would be harvested in a perfect condition.
The vendanges started on August 24th for the whites and on August 31st for the reds, placing the vintage alongside other years with unduly early harvests.
Bordeaux Vintage Report 2005 is a truly fantastic vintage with great quality across the board on both the Left and Right Banks.
The 2005 vintage became the most expected since 2000. The en primeur market was heated, and prices skyrocketed. The cold winter delayed the bud break before the hot ans dunny spring broke up. Even vegetative growth and flowering gave a perfect start to the vintage. The summer turned out to be one of the driest ever which was avoiding disaster since the weather remained reasonably warm not excessively hot as in 2003. The soil is again becoming a decisive quality factor. Gravelly areas, such as Graves, were worst affected once more. In other words, top wines are to be expected.
For short term perspective, in the next couple of years, an excellent amount of mature red Bordeaux wines will be available in the market. The vintages 2004, 2002, 1999, 1994, 1992 and 1988 offer a wide selection of enjoyable wines to be consumed immediately or at most to be stored for a short period.
As investments, the best vintages from the past 35 years are 2003, 1996, 1989, 1986 and 1982. The most certain long-term investments are Latour, La Mission Haut-Brion, Haut-Brion, Le Pin and Pétrus.
In the last 35 years, Bordeaux has undergone a substantial change in winemaking. Modern equipment and developing know-how have guaranteed more even quality. It seems that the next challenge will be handling the extreme climates including slowly global warming, which has already given hints of its effects also in Bordeaux. It is impossible to say how the Bordeaux wines will change in the next 35 years. We can only hope that their most characteristic feature, elegant aristocratic nature highlighted by unique terroir, will never fade away.