Tasting Note: 1970 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion


1. Introduction:
Located only a few miles southwest of Bordeaux´s city centre and surrounded by the city, Chateau La Mission Haut Brion´s vineyards benefit from a warm and dry microclimate. As a direct neighbor of Chateau Haut Brion it shares the same gravel (fr. “graves”) soils consisting of small stones of various types of quartz over clay and sand sub-soil.
Among the total of 29 hectares (~72 acres) under vine, 27 hectares are planted with red varietals (about 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot & 7% Cabernet Franc). Due to its variable terroir, Graves, incl. its sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, is the only part of Bordeaux where some fine dry whites rival the red wines.

We´ve tasted some shining examples from 1970, a great vintage known for its rich and complex wines on the left bank, recently. Amongst others, a fantastic, complex, dark-flavored, earthy and sweet Chateau Mouton Rothschild and a young, multi-faceted, concentrated and deep Chateau Calon-Segur.
Consequently, expectations are high on this one as well.
Our 1970 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion is flawless.

2. Appearance:
Velvety crimson with orange/ brown edges.
Light and obviously aged, but still vibrant and alive!

3. Nose:
Integrated and ripe aromatics of Leather and Earth with little Road Tar and Petrol.
Opened up beautifully in the decanter with an intriguing play of forest characters of Pinewood, Resin, Moss and forest Floor. Violets, Mint and other Fresh Herbs.
Fresh Lightness, Discretion and great Depth!

4. Taste:
The palate is also dominated by secondary/ tertiary characters with distinct Earthiness, Leather and Gravelly Flavors. Spices, Graphite and Mushrooms with muted fruit; just little Fruit in Rum.
Medium-bodied with fine, vital acidity and finely integrated, approachable tannins. Mind-blowing length and complexity on the finish! Depth, notes of Iron (!), intriguing Darkness and little, Peppery Anise Spiciness. Stays forever!
Depth and complexity in a restraint and elegant package.

5. Opinion:
Fantastic, classical Graves in an elegant, complex and exciting wine with restraint. 1970 is certainly a vintage to look out for today, since the former robust tannins and richness made by “Old School” Bordeaux winemaking and the vintage characteristics back in the day, created wines with backbone and longevity that stood the test of time and deliver good value for money right now.