Thursday June 26
As it was approaching noon, lunch was calling me name. Francois Mauss is my guest today for lunch at La Mission. Francois is always fun. As he knows everyone, for me, it was nice to be able to invite him for a change.
Along with Ivanhoe Johnston, the well known Negociant, whose family has been Bordeaux wine Negociants since the 1700’s, we made our way to Haut Brion. Thinking about a business that has been going for hundreds of years is difficult for most of us Americans. We consider a decade to be a success! I do not usually bring a guest with me. But, today, it was my pleasure to have Francois Mauss as my guest. I got a kick out of inviting the man who knows everyone to lunch! And with all the pictures he took, he was like a kid in a candy shop. Prior to lunch at one of the world’s finest Chateau, we managed to taste the 2006 and 2007 lineup of wines.
It’s not often a white wine leaves me speechless. But 2007 Haut Brion Blanc did just that. This is going to be very expensive, but for millionaires who demand the best of everything, this is a white wine they will need to have at least once in their life!
07 Haut Brion Blanc is mind blowing. Minerals, citrus, flowers are almost too much to take in all at once. Very, very concentrated. The deep layers of fruit in your mouth seem like they are never going away. The citrus peel Finish ends with a hint of orange rind. I could not put this compelling glass of wine down.
We also tasted a flight of 04’s before settling down to an elegant lunch.
04 La Mission Haut Brion has a tobacco filled nose with a nice palate presence. An elegant style of La Mission. 90 Pts
04 Haut Brion has a smoke and violet nose with a plush mouth feel and soft finish. 91Pts
04 Laville Haut Brion and 04 Haut Brion Blanc were both good wines. But, they paled in comparison next to the sublime efforts from 07. If you are looking for the wine of the vintage, look no further, these are the real deal!
The tasting was held at Haut Brion. But for lunch we crossed the street and made our way to La Mission Haut Brion. Lunch started with champagne in the stunningly, beautiful, elegant and picturesque garden. After Champagne, we moved on to a pair of whites before making friends with a pair of beautiful red Bordeaux wines.
05 Laville Haut Brion has a citrus and lemon nose. Good density and balance on the palate. The wine ends with a citrus peel and honey suckle note.
05 Haut Brion Blanc offers floral and mineral notes with hints of lemon and lime. The long finish ends with an orange rind component. More concentrated and longer in the finish than the Laville.
90 La Mission Haut Brion with its smoke, tobacco, cassis and iron nose is a treat for the senses. This huge, youthful, very concentrated wine is still tannic. Very powerful with a long, black fruit filled finish. After two hours the wine began to soften and develop additional nuances. This is a stunning La Mission that will evolve for decades! I would wait 5 years before popping a bottle oif this sublime Bordeaux wine. 96 Pts
82 Haut Brion is deep ruby in color with a hint of brick around the edges. Aromas of smoke, spice, cassis, plums, coffee, plums and hot stones ending with a faint hint of licorice make an incredible perfume. In your mouth, the texture is akin to letting ripe fruit melt over your palate with countless layers of velvety, plush fruit. Everything is in balance and the finish continued to improve over the few hours we spent with the wine. The wine can best be described as a wine of elegance with lust filled accents. 98 Pts
Haut Brion is not the most powerful, sexiest or exotic Bordeaux. But it is the best example that perfectly combines all three descriptors. Sadly we had to leave. Francois had other things to do and I had a few more appointments as well.