This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

September 26, 2013

Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion

Dinner at Sotheby's, co-hosted by Domaine Clarence Dillon with Prince Robert of Luxembourg.

2011 Clarendelle Blanc - very ripe, very aromatic, with lots of oak, vanilla and citrus.

2009 La Clarté de Haut-Brion - a very big nose with toasty notes, sweet, buttery corn and lemon.  Rich and fat, very ripe and hot on the palate.  Pretty enjoyable, actually.

2009 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc - opened for 3 hours prior to serving.  A very big wine but much more elegant compared to the first two wines.  Seemingly thinner at first, with a fragrant nose showing citrus notes, nice and buttery, toasty, almost a little pipi de chat from the Sauvignon Blanc, a little sweet around the edges.  A beautiful and complex wine.

2009 Haut-Brion Blanc - opened for 3 hours prior to serving.  Much more showy than its sibling, displaying citrus, more pipi de chat thanks to a greater proportion of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend, petrol and muscat grape.  Very ripe on the palate but with good acidity balance.

2009 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion - double-decanted for 6 hours prior to serving.  Really sweet, almost a little jammy, with a hint of smoke.  A very delicious wine that is somewhat ready to drink, but obviously this was a little young…  I would love to revisit this wine in another 10 or 20 years.

2000 La Mission Haut-Brion - double-decanted for about 3½ hours prior to serving.  Ripe on the nose and a classic claret on the palate.  A little mineral, savory like black olives, with animal and grilled meat notes.  Delicious.

1990 La Mission Haut-Brion en magnum - double-decanted for about 3½ hours prior to serving.  Definitely prominent notes of brett, very savory with lots of black olive tapenade, earthy, mineral, cigar notes, but still have some of that sweet fruit core underneath it all.

1989 Haut-Brion - what an amazing wine!  The ex-château stock was so incredibly young, and so clean and pure.  A little savory, meaty, smoky, dried herbs and cedar, with good amount of sweet fruit.  But this youngster wasn't yet fully open and showing 100%, although there was absolutely no question that this was, in fact, a perfect wine.  What I wouldn't give to be able to taste another example of ex-château stock of this wine in… oh, another 20 years!  Like Serena I, too, noticed that the wine's got some damn good "legs"…

1982 Haut-Brion en double magnum - obviously more mature despite the larger format.  Showing notes of cedar that was just so fragrant, so sweet, with just a hint of brett, savory black olives and leather saddle.  This wine was drinking beautifully tonight, and I stuck around towards the end and got myself a second pour… and probably should have asked for a third pour, too…

Clarendelle Amberwine - not exactly a complex sweet wine, but nevertheless showed classic marmalade, pineapple and botrytis.

Full post on dinner is here.

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