This vintage was marked by a salutary, remarkable Indian summer. The 2014 Mission Haut-Brion reproduces the quintessence of 54% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc. These varietals, harvested between September 15th and October 8th, bring this Pessac-Leognan Cru Classé de Graves solidity and appeal. It is very dense and expressive on the nose; it reminds one of ripe black fruits and roasted notes. The attack is fresh and strength leads to roundness, then to the fruity finesse and complexity. The lingering and aromatic finish identifies this charming wine with character and a unique tannic smoothness.
The 2014 La Mission Haut Brion is a blend of 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked between 15 September and 8 October and raised in 55% new oak. It has retained that engagingly fresh and vibrant bouquet, the bashful nature that it showed in barrel replaced by a more outgoing personality. This is an exquisite bouquet with pure black fruit, cold stone, a touch of black olive and later a suggestion of boysenberry preserve. The palate is still structured and considering that a majority is Merlot, quite masculine. There remains some new oak to be fully assimilated, although there is clearly the fruit to soak that up. It comes more alive on the second half with a lovely spiciness and impressive persistence. It will have more to give down the line and the strictness implies that this La Mission Haut Brion should be afforded a decade in the cellar before it will show what it can do.