Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 1990

In 1983, the Dillon family acquired Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion from the heirs of the Woltner family (who had bought the estate in 1919). The new owners are, literally, from across the road as they were already owners of Chateau Haut-Brion, the only wine outside the Médoc out of 61 properties classified in 1855. Even before the purchase, parcels of lands of the two properties intermingled with each other. A good portion of Haut-Brion vines run alongside those of La Mission. Following their purchase of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion in 1983, the Dillon family initiated renovations, including to the old cellar and the winery of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion. In 2006, there was another round of construction, including the building of a magnificent new cellar. The present vineyard of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion comprises almost 30 hectares. Twenty-five and a half hectares are planted to 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc. As for the 3.75 hectares of white vineyard, the percentage is 63% Sémillon and 37% Sauvignon Blanc. Most Bordeaux aficionados are of the view that Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion produces wines worthy of a First Growth or Premier Cru. Why this was not acknowledged back in 1855 may be because the people making the rankings felt that one exception – namely Chateau Haut-Brion – outside the Médoc was more than enough. That neglect, though, has done the wine no harm at all. Great wine is just like that, including this outstanding 1990. Perfume of sandalwood. Very smoky too, including a peaty aspect. Reminds a bit of Laphroaig Single Malt from Islay. Evolved fruit including blackurrant, cassis, and cherries. Silky tannins. Very fresh. Absolutely delicious!

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