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41% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc. Much deeper colour than La Mission 2008. Really powerful dark purple colour. Minerals and lightness of touch on the nose. The most solid red from this stable but a little muted at this stage. Very firm, even slightly austere Cabernet tannins and pretty drying on the finish. Far from opulent. Needs, like La Mission, to put on a bit of flesh. Medium persistence. Impressive purity of fruit - the opposite of tarted up. Score: 18 Jancis Robinson MW,

A very complex wine, with black licorice, sweet tobacco, blackberry and earth. Full-bodied and long, with big, juicy tannins and lots of bright fruit, mushroom, earth and decadent fruit flavors. The most powerful wine of the vintage. Only 35 percent of the total production (normally this is 50 percent or 55 percent). Shows the selection. Score: 93-96 James Suckling,

A blend of 41% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc. The nose is very expressive, ripe redcurrants, wild strawberries, a touch of gravel and a little wild hedgerow and black plum. The bouquet appears to be more expressive than recent vintages. The palate is very well balanced and slightly grainy, very fresh, lots of energy on the finish with a minerally undertow. The focus is very impressive: one feels this is an Haut-Brion that will blossom after bottling, for unlike the nose, the palate feels as if it is holding something back. Firm tannins, traces of earth and bay leaf on the finish. Excellent - but patience is necessary. Tasted April 2009 Score: 94-96 Neal Martin,


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