La Mission Haut-Brion 1989

With a perfect 100 point score from both Parker and Suckling, the 1989 La Mission Haut-Brion is one of the most sought after fine wine investments to come out of Bordeaux over the last half century. The 1989 is by far the Château’s best performing fine wine investment of recent and one of its most valuable vintages ever.

The château

Château La Mission Haut-Brion is considered a top-quality Bordeaux wine estate. Despite not quite making the cut for the 1855 first growth wine classification, it is still clearly of similar or even contemporary quality. Robert Parker has described it as ‘a wine of first-growth quality,’ referring to it as ‘unquestionably one of the world’s most singular and distinctive wines.’ The wine has a signature full bodied taste with a rich, fruity character, and has been awarded a perfect 100 point Parker rating on six separate occasions.

The first vines were planted on the estate in the early 1500s. It passed through numerous hands over the coming centuries, most notably a religious order between 1650 and the French Revolution. During the 1800s it was owned by the Chiapella family, before being sold to Fréderic Otto Woltner in the early 1900s.

It was during the 20th Century when the estate really began to improve its offerings, which is perhaps why it was emitted from the early 1855 first growth classification. The estate was restructured in the years following Woltner’s acquisition, yielding better grapes and thus, better produce. Since these years the estate has also been known for producing particularly distinctive bottles.

Today, the estate comprises about 1 hectares worth of land between two main sites. The main grand vin vintage produces between 6,000 and 7,000 cases of wine each year. It also produces a second wine, La Chapelle de la Mission, of which there tends to be about 4,000 cases produced.

The overall estate produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, at about 48, 45 and seven per cent respectively each year. Of the vintages produced this century, 2000, 2009 and 2010 have notably higher than average prices.

The 1989 vintage however stands head and shoulders above anything produced in the years up to it and in those since. Despite being an older vintage, is still has the potential to rise in value over time.

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Published January 2016.