Château La Mission Haut Brion, 1er Grand Cru Classé Pessac Léognan, 2016
The 2014 La Mission Haut Brion is a blend of 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked between 15 September and 8 October and raised in 55% new oak. It has retained that engagingly fresh and vibrant bouquet, the bashful nature that it showed in barrel replaced by a more outgoing personality. This is an exquisite bouquet with pure black fruit, cold stone, a touch of black olive and later a suggestion of boysenberry preserve. The palate is still structured and considering that a majority is Merlot, quite masculine. There remains some new oak to be fully assimilated, although there is clearly the fruit to soak that up. It comes more alive on the second half with a lovely spiciness and impressive persistence. It will have more to give down the line and the strictness implies that this La Mission Haut Brion should be afforded a decade in the cellar before it will show what it can do.