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December 14, 2016

La Mission Haut Brion 2014

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Following our release of Montrose 2014 earlier this week, we are revisiting the other very strong buy of the vintage, the stunning La Mission Haut Brion. As noted previously, next year Neal Martin will taste the wines again from bottle and publish his new scores. This event historically drives demand for the leading wines, with collectors and speculators eager to secure cases as they become physical. Along with Montrose, La Mission Haut Brion is the other superbly priced wine to be awarded the top spot in the 2014 vintage. It was awarded an exceptional 95-97 points and we can offer it today for £1,750 per case of twelve bottles. Cases of these leading wines will be few and far between, having sold out on release.

In 2014, Neal Martin says of La Mission haut Brion ‘This is a sophisticated La Mission Haut-Brion in the making, one that may actually surpass Haut-Brion as it is sometimes prone to do. The 2014 is a sterling success for Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team.’ In fact, La Mission Haut Brion 2014 not only surpasses Haut Brion in 2014, which was awarded 93-95 points and trades today for £3,200 per full case, it has a higher score than any other First Growth, yet today costs half as much! Furthermore, where other leading wines of the vintage have risen steeply in price, La Mission Haut Brion has only moved in line with FX. It offers incredible relative value, as demonstrated below:

2014 Score Release £/12 Current £/12 % increase
La Mission Haut Brion 95-97 £1,500 £1,750 17%
Montrose 95-97 £850 £1,000 18%
Cheval Blanc 95-97 £3,400 £4,200 24%
Lafite 94-96 £2,950 £3,900 32%
Leoville Las Cases 94-96 £890 £1,200 35%
Pichon-Baron 92-94 £645.00 £880 36%
Haut-Brion 93-95 £2,300 £3,200 39%
Lynch Bages 92-94 £575.00 £800 39%
Margaux 93-95 £2,340 £3,300 41%
Vieux Chateau Certan 95-97 £990 £1,400 41%
Clarence de Haut Brion 89-91 £530 £750 42%
Mouton-Rothschild 94-96 £2,300 £3,300 43%
Carruades Lafite 88-90 £920 £1,700 85%
Petit Mouton 90-92 £750 £1,700 127%

Since the release of La Mission Haut Brion 2014 last year, the average case price of the last ten vintages from this Estate have increased 26%, 9% more than the 2014. Two years ago we posited that the 2012 vintage of La Mission Haut Brion 2012 would be rescored higher from bottle, as is often the case with La Mission Haut Brion. It rose from 91-94 to 97 points, rising from £1,420 per case to £1,800, where it trades today. The 2014 offers excellent value when compared to other vintages and a score of 97 points would place it alongside the truly great vintages from this Estate, the 97-99 2015 trades at £3,200 a full case and the 98+ 2010 £4,300. In fact, La Mission Haut Brion has an exponential price increase among their vintages once 97-98 points are achieved.

La Mission Haut Brion has been owned by Domaine Clarence Dillon, owners of Haut Brion since 1974, however, despite the coming together of the two properties, Jean-Bernard and later Jean-Philippe Delmas, who oversaw the winemaking for both properties, managed to maintain La Mission’s unique identity that has led to its wines attracting much critical acclaim. Situated close to the city of Bordeaux itself in the Pessac-Leognan region, La Mission sits on uniquely stony soil. The wine often displays rich, powerful and masculine flavours. The 2014 is a blend of 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 55% new oak, it exhibits blueberries, toast, smoke, black pepper with profound minerality and gripping tannins.

The 2014 vintage of La Mission Haut Brion is a stellar effort, which based on previous bottle scores from this Estate, is likely to achieve the high end of its barrel range. It surpasses the First Growths in 2014 and promises investment results once it is rescored from bottle.

La Mission Haut Brion 2014, 12×75 – £1,750 IB - 95 – 97 Pts, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

The Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2014 is a blend of 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked between 15 September and 8 October raised in 55% new oak. It has a very fresh and precise bouquet, not one that marches out the barrack in confidence fashion, but rather unfolds piece-by-piece in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a structured and neatly placed opening: a little masculine for La Mission Haut-Brion at this stage, linear and focused, maintaining precision rather than aiming from power and roundness. This is a sophisticated La Mission Haut-Brion in the making, one that may actually surpass Haut-Brion as it is sometimes prone to do. The 2014 is a sterling success for Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team.

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