La Mission Haut Brion: 1985, 1998, 1999

Posted by Ian McFadden

1985, 98, 99 La Mission Haut Brion

Well-priced La Miss in the zone.

The Bordeaux market, even ignoring the crazy run on Lafite, has seen some serious growth in the last few years.

Prices for the First Growths as well as the big three from the right bank have ballooned. There's still value to be had, but the very top estates have become increasingly more expensive to acquire.

Today we focus on a small parcel of perfectly cellared back-vintage gems from the one chateau that over the past 150 years can claim to punch at the weight of the First Growths: La Mission Haut Brion.

Château La Mission Haut-Brion

The top wines of this estate are legends: The 1959, the 82, the 2000 and (very likely) the 2009 and 2010. You can find countless examples, online chatter and tasting notes that tell the tale of both young and mature bottles of La Miss outshining the greatest of Bordeaux.

Today, we have a small parcel of pristine stock (the case of 1985 is a late-release from La Mission) and all three of these wines are coming out of OWC. If these are not the legends of Bordeaux, believe me they are sneaky good.

The 1985 should be right at its peak - fully mature wines from a chateau of this esteem rarely come at a price like this. We have one case and it's direct from La Mission

The 1998 half-bottles are just fun - we get asked constantly for back-vintage half-bottles. Most of the time, it's a very hard request to fulfill. This is just entering the zone in this format and the 1998 La Mission and Haut Brion are both fantastic wines.

Finally, the 1999 is a really fabulous value - this is what drinking Bordeaux should be about. The wine so obviously has the breed of a great wine and it'll be in fine, fine shape for the next decade or two. The vintage has gone largely overlooked, but the last couple of years have been kind to it and for the value-hunter there are a lot of really delicious wines to be had.

Full tasting notes for all the wines are below.

This parcel is small; the fame of La Mission Haut Brion is not. To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

1985, 1998, 1999 La Mission Haut Brion

Wine Advocate: "A complex, smoky, earthy nose, with a bit of camphor intermixed with jammy black currants and melted road tar is followed by a medium-bodied, very soft, low-acid wine that is loosely knit, very fleshy, and fully mature."

Wine Advocate: "Complex aromas of scorched earth, minerals, black fruits, lead pencil, and subtle wood accompany this classic, full-bodied, La Mission. It boasts superb purity, an expansive, concentrated mid-palate, and sweet tannin in the long, muscular yet refined finish. This superb La Mission-Haut-Brion, which requires 6-7 years of cellaring, gets my nod as one of the finest La

Wine Advocate: "he medium to full-bodied 1999 La Mission Haut Brion is beautifully complex, with notes of cherry liqueur, plums, cigar smoke, fresh tobacco, and scorched earth. This deep, elegant, yet precise wine is cut from the same mold as the 1962, 1971, 1983, and 1985. Though not a heavyweight, it is gorgeously complex, supple, and both hedonistic and intellectual."