90-94 / 100
90-94 / 100
Label Slightly damaged
Level Top-shoulder ( - )
Cap Slightly damaged
(07-2015) Dark ruby nuanced colour. I tasted this blind and thought it was really very mature, bone dry, transparent and light – almost austere. Not that intense with notes of graphite. I did think it was a Pessac-Léognan and clearly not from a particularly ripe vintage. The vintage was chosen because it was the year of our marriage.
(01-2008) Much denser colour than the 84, with hints of very ripe, blackcurrant and sweetly vegetal fruit. The incense and camphor character of La Mission comes through. On the palate there is a full, quite rich texture and that ripe fruit still gives mid-palate sweetness. The acidity is nicely edgy, and the tannins now fading into the background , but very delicious.
(08-2012) The 1981 exhibits a more youthful purple hue to its dark plum color than any vintage back to 1970. Somewhat narrowly constructed for a La Mission-Haut-Brion, it reveals plenty of incense, blueberry, black currant and crushed rock notes intertwined with a restrained, smoky character. The wine is medium-bodied, fresh and crisp with good concentration as well as a surprising youthfulness. However, the vintage’s deficiencies – a lack of heat and maturity – show up in the wine’s modest power and concentration. The 1981 does not possess the great richness, depth and intensity of the finest vintages, but it is still an outstanding effort that has aged extremely well. It could hold up for another two decades, but there is no point in deferring gratification.
(12-2010) 1981 La Mission Haut Brion offers tobacco, truffle, earth and smoky cassis scents, Soft, supple and fully mature, the wine finishes with light black cherry and cassis flavors. This will not improve. Drink up.
3/5 Information on the vintage 1981 red Bordeaux : A good claret vintage