The second wine, the 2009 La Chapelle de la Mission, is essentially an equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with slightly more Cabernet Franc that came in at 14.2% natural alcohol. It reveals an extraordinary meaty nose displaying hints of volcanic soils, burning embers, sweet black currants, blueberries, plums, tobacco leaf and wet stones. This tasty, full-bodied, supple-textured beauty should drink well for 15-20 years.
Tasted at the chateau. A deep purple/garnet core. The nose is ripe and well-defined with graphite and mineral tinged black plum fruit with just a hint of Japanese umiboshi. The palate is medium-bodied, firm tannins, good weight, blackberry, a touch of burnt toast and graphite. Just a touch of hardness of youth, chalky, slightly pointed on the finish. I suspect this will really come into its own after bottling. Tasted April 2010.
A structured young red with blueberry, toasted oak and coffee aromas and flavors. Full and silky, with ripe tannins and beautiful fruit. Long and flavorful. Second wine of La Mission.
Deep purple with good complex savour on the nose. Relatively high volatility and a really firm tannic backbone. But there is polish here too. Deep and rich underneath. Very dry finish. Very firm - just extra depth but no extra obvious sweetness/ripeness until the very end when there is quite a bit of alcohol. Obvious top growth address even in this wine. Date tasted 2nd April 2010. Drink 2019-2030.
The 2nd wine of La Mission is made from 44% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc this year. All the fruit from the La Tour Haut Brion vineyard is included here. Red cherry fruit and woodsmoke on the nose. The palate has very pure red fruit with some notes of leather and spice. Good freshness, finely balanced.
Damson plum and dark cherry vie for dominance with the cherry appearing to win. The fleshiness of the plum is though on the palate underpinned by dark chocolate giving it richness. Exotic black fruits excite and their lushness and suppleness is so well balanced by underlying acidity. Drink 2016-2028.
Deep red, lovely fragrant crushed berry nose, fine expression of vigourous ripe fruit, tannins present but will blend in, dry, herby style which will open up with restrained elegance. Drink 2014-2020.
There are approximately 2,000 cases of the 2009 La Chapelle de La Mission, the best one I have ever tasted. A blend of nearly equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Cabernet Franc added in, it achieved 14.2% natural alcohol. The wine is a remarkable effort, with amazing density, extraordinary fruit quality, dense purple color with meaty notes alongside subtle barbecue smoke, camphor, black currant, sweet cherry, and blackberry. It has a lush, opulent texture, loads of glycerin, and admirable purity and length. I could have drunk a bottle or two just tasting it from the barrel! It should evolve for 10-15 or more years. (Tasted two times.) Drink 2010-2025.
Harvest started around September 9 at La Mission Haut-Brion, and finished almost a month later, on October 6. To get an idea of just how extraordinary all the wines from the Dillon family are in 2009, just consider how phenomenal the second wines are.
Robert Parker added an asterisk to this wine score to signify that it is a wine he considers has the finest potential of all the offerings he has ever tasted from this estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux.