Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2006, Pessac-Léognan
One of the vintage's top wines is the 2006 La Mission-Haut-Brion. From bottle, it reminds me of the 1998, given its structure and backward style. Dense ruby/purple-colored, it possesses a boatload of tannin, but with coaxing, tobacco leaf, sweet black currant, burning ember, and blue fruit characteristics emerge. While thick and full-bodied, the tannins seem more elevated than I remember from barrel. It is going to be a beauty, but like many of the top 2006s, considerable patience is required. Only 55% of the production made it into the grand vin as Jean-Philippe Delmas made a severe selection. The final blend was 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2006 has one of the highest natural alcohols ever achieved at La Mission, averaging around 14.3%, which is astonishingly high for a Graves. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2035.