(65% merlot, 32% cabernet sauvignon and 3% cabernet franc): Bright ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of floral red berries and spearmint. Refined on the palate, with red berry, mint and mineral elements carrying through to the long, vibrant, but somewhat austere finish. A leaner style of La Mission than usual, but also very refined. If this puts on more flesh it will turn out to be outstanding, but right now it’s a little tough, offering no easy sweetness. As with its stablemate Haut-Brion, the percentage of new oak will be cut from the usual 75% to 65% in an attempt to preserve the wine’s fruit.
Robert Parker 91
The 2013 La Mission Haut Brion, a blend of 65% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, has a very pretty bouquet. It is not intense or powerful, as you would anticipate given the growing season, but it unfurls in the glass to reveal wild strawberry, raspberry and dried quince scents, augmented by dried orange peel and bay leaf scents. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin on the entry. This is fresh in the mouth, focused and in the context of the 2013 vintage, quite vivacious, full of energy, especially on the finish. While it might lack the depth, that Merlot lends it the fleshiness that lifts this La Mission Haut Brion above others.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2032