Like a lot of wines in this underrated vintage, the 2008 La Mission was one of the great bargains of recent vintages. Its healthy blue/purple color is followed by aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, licorice, truffles, underbrush and forest floor. The scorched earthy/smoky character of this estate's terroir has not yet emerged. Medium to full-bodied and concentrated with good acidity, freshness and delineation, this is a big wine for the vintage, but also very classic in its balance of tannin, acidity and extract. It will benefit from another 5-7 years of cellaring and should keep for three decades. The final blend was 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.
|Score: 95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (202), August 2012|
This glorious offering possesses sweet tobacco leaf, black currant, mocha, white chocolate, scorched earth and burning ember-like characteristics. Full-bodied, stunningly rich and exceptionally well-endowed, this blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc demands 2-3 years of additional bottle age. It should age gracefully for 35-40 years.
|Score: 94||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011|
Another property that is harvested very late (September 23-October 17), the 2008 La Mission-Haut-Brion is a powerful, backward effort that is not yet fully expressing itself. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, it reveals a deep blue/purple hue in addition to sumptuous aromas of melted asphalt, graphite, blueberries, and black currant liqueur. Dense, with high but velvety tannins, top-flight purity, and a full-bodied, backward, formidably endowed style, this beauty seems to be set for a long life. It is difficult to compare 2008 with any other recent vintage, but the closest would probably be 1998. A La Mission made for four decades or more of cellaring, it is a top-notch effort that should improve during the elevage in barrel.
|Score: 94/96+||Robert Parker, RobertParker.com, April 2009|
The 2008 La Mission Haut-Brion has an open, feisty, lively bouquet with blackberry, briary, cedar, black olive and a light seaweed (Japanese nori) aroma. This is wonderful, an intoxicating bouquet. The palate is beautifully balanced with a fine bead of acidity, very focused with good weight and structure. This is a very convincing showing, at the moment more pleasurable than the 2008 Haut-Brion, just so fresh and complex, offering a discrete tertiary, smoke-tinged finish that goes on and on. One of the best 2008s out there. 2020 - 2055
|Score: 96+||Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2018|
Tasted ex-château and single blind in Southwold. Two bottles tasted and I was initially parsimonious with my score since it seems to have closed down. Allowing the wine to continually aerate, it finally agrees to reveal what is impressive ripeness "under the bonnet", with blackberry, scorched earth, graphite and even a touch of honey. But it is just glimpses of what will evolve with time. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins, a little edgy and tense, vivacious with a very crisp, focused finish with beautifully integrated oak. Once the aromatics awaken, this will be superb. Tasted January 2012.
|Score: 95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, January 2012|
A blend of 43% Merlot, 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc. This is more conservative on the nose than the Chateau Haut-Brion, but with time it begins to unfurl (at least ten minutes in the glass.) Blackberry, cedar, a touch of sandalwood - very tight, but it begins to blossom, developing hints of boysenberry and wild nettle. The palate is like a tight fist, austere and introverted, a moody bugger but there are some very fine tannins and structure towards the finish. A dark horse. Tasted April 2009
|Score: 92/94.5+||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2009|
Bright and perfumed, with mineral, hot stone, fresh currant and blackberry on the nose. Full-bodied, with firm, silky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Layered, chewy and structured. Solid for the vintage
|Score: 91/94||James Suckling, Wine Spectator, April 2009|
43% Merlot, 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc.Dark crimson. Lightly fragrant with a hint of tea leaves. Now this is elegant! But it's rather different from old La Missions. Much more polished and suave. Once this puts on weight it should come into better balance. At the moment it's perhaps just a little too light, but is certainly marvellously pure and has a wonderful line along the palate.
|Score: 18||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2009|
The nose has fragrance and charm with an attractive mix of black fruits underpinned by some
red cherry. The palate has weight of fruit the ripe feeling tannins helping the suppleness and
although there is a fresher feel towards the back the finish has lots of ripe fruited concentration. 2015-2030
|Score: 93||Derek Smedley MW, November 2012|
There is a charming fragrance and elegance about the nose, first black fruits then fresher red. The palate is power packed, the rich black fruits lightened towards the back by fresher red ensuring an elegant length.
|Score: 91/94||Derek Smedley MW, April 2009|