"The Indian spices and blackberry on the nose are so enticing and inspiring, leading to a full-bodied palate, with very polished tannins that caress. Goes on and on as this builds on the palate, with a mineral and berry aftertaste. For long-term aging. Best after 2015. 5,665 cases made." (WS)
"There are slightly more than 5,000 cases of the 2005 La Mission-Haut-Brion, a blend of 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a touch of Cabernet Franc. While there is little difference between La Mission and Haut-Brion’s terroirs (their vineyards are only separated by a two-lane road), La Mission possesses more fat, texture, and intensity. An enormously endowed wine with huge tannin and structure, the 2005 offers a quintessential Graves bouquet of burning embers, charcoal, blackberries, truffles, black currants, and a meaty character. Reminiscent of the 1989, with more structure as well as a longer window of drinkability, the 2005 may be a modern day, improved version of a vintage such as 1955, which was well-endowed, very tannic, and took a long time to come around. While fabulously full-bodied and unctuous, the 2005 will not provide much charm in its youth. It needs 8-10 years of cellaring, and should age effortlessly for 30-40 years.
The rivalry between the two great Pessac-Leognan estates of Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion continues despite the fact that since 1983, both wines have been made by the same winemaking team. Jean-Bernard Delmas has moved fifty miles north to Montrose, but his son, Jean-Philippe, has produced both wines following the 2003 vintage. La Mission is obviously made in a different style than Haut-Brion. It will never have as much nuance and nobility aromatically. It does possess more muscle, concentration, and opulence than Haut-Brion, but both offer prodigious styles of wine." (WA)
"Deep ruby-red. Black raspberry and licorice on the nose. Dense and sweet but youthfully tight; a serious young wine with terrific verve and the acid/tannin backbone to support a long and glorious evolution in bottle. Very long on the back end, with mouth-saturating fruit and tannins. Like La Chapelle-and in direct contrast to Bahans and Haut-Brion-this is quite backward today, and almost certain to merit a higher rating in the future." (VM)
"Dark and dense, but with such opulent fruit, this is a year when La Mission shows its softer, richer side by comparison with neighbor Haut-Brion. There is spice and exotic and generous red fruits to give with the concentration. It has great power, but it also has a velvet structure." (WE)