Three Decades of La Mission Haut-Brion

Nick Jackson, MW Consultant | August 4, 2023

Among collectors, who doubts that La Mission Haut-Brion is among Bordeaux’s greatest wines? That the best La Mission vintages can not only compete with, but sometimes best, the First Growths? All of this is well-known to wine lovers, yet somehow remains a secret to the market, which does not value La Mission as it should. Sometimes (witness the 1999, 2017 and 2018 available here), La Mission is scarcely half the price of its First Growth counterpart, Haut-Brion, despite sharing a terroir and winemaking team.

La Mission can be a little more sinewy than Haut-Brion; a touch more compact and dense in early life. But with any amount of bottle age, all the familiar cigar and peat scents emerge, as does the mellifluous texture and smoky finish. The 1999 is at its peak today, while the 2009 and 2010 are enjoying a resplendent adolescence. The younger vintages, while all show promise today, represent an outstanding opportunity to purchase these wines at close to release price.