DUNNUCK: "Continuing to show brilliantly, the 2012 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion is a quintessential Graves, boasting a deep purple color as well as heavenly aromatics of blackcurrants, tobacco, scorched earth, graphite, and licorice. It’s a big, full-bodied beauty yet has a weightless, elegant style, building tannins, and a great finish. It needs a solid hour in a decanter if drinking today and promises to evolve beautifully for another 3-4 decades."
WINEADVOCATE: "Tasted blind at the Southwold 2012 tasting, the 2012 La Mission Haut-Brion showed brilliantly. It has an intense, floral bouquet with rose petals and strawberry preserve, hints of sous-bois and tobacco gently unfolding in the glass, gaining more earthiness as it aerates in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, broad and spicy with hints of bell pepper suggesting high quality Cabernet Franc. It fans out gloriously with a sustained tertiary finish that completes what is a wondrous La Mission Haut-Brion from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. Tasted January 2012."
WINE CELLAR INSIDER: "Full bodied, concentrated and showing more depth in bottle than in barrel, the wine is packed with layers of ripe, smoky fruit, tannins and earth in every sniff, sip and swallow. The wine really lingers on the palate with intensity and expansiveness. The wine was made from a blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Sauvignon. There is no touch of heat in the 14.9% alcohol finish. This is much better from bottle than barrel. As it ages, this could get better still!"
JAMES SUCKLING: "Gorgeous aromas of stones, currants and blueberries. Very aromatic. Mesmerizing. Full body, silky tannins and a long finish. Dense and rich. Layered. Earth and bark character. Lots of structure for the vintage. Better in 2019."
WEINWISSER: "62 % Merlot, 38 % Cabernet Sauvignon. Sattes Purpur- Granat, dicht in der Mitte, lila Schimmer aussen. Warmes, pflaumiges Bouquet, dominikanischer Tabak und frisch gerösteter Kaffee, Nussmehl und Pumpernickel. Konzentrierter Gaumen, auch hier wieder eine wunderschöne Wärme in den Tanninen ausstrahlend, erst im Nachklang kommen recht strenge, sehnige Tannine zum Tragen. Aussen weich – innen mit gewisser Härte. Das wird kein leichter Spaziergang für seine Zukunft. Ungeduldige sollten eh gleich die Finger davon lassen. Aus Zuversicht aufgerundet, denn ein solches Potenzial ist immer ein zuverlässiger Garant für viel später."
ROBINSON: "Classic La Mission with Cabernet plus warm bricks and a really distinctive appeal with some liquorice notes. Long and really rather glorious!"
FALSTAFF: "Dunkles Rubingranat, violette Reflexe, zarte Randaufhellung, zart tabakig, ein Hauch von Unterholz, dunkles Beerenkonfit, mineralische Nuancen, zart nach Lakritze und Brombeeren. Saftig, rotbeerig, rassige Säurestruktur, präsente Tannine, sehr salzig, im Moment verschlossen, feine zitronige Nuancen, besitzt gute Frische und Länge, braucht Zeit, dunkler Nougat im Nachhall."
WINESPECTATOR: "The rigid tar and bramble frame should eventually meld with the core of plum, blackberry and macerated black currant fruit, featuring ample energy and a graphite note through the finish. Just a little bit of patience required here. Best from 2018 through 2025. 5,176 cases made."
ANTONIO GALLONI: "(62% merlot and 38% cabernet sauvignon; 40% of the total production went into the grand vin; 49 h/h): Moderately saturated ruby-red. Inky, medicinal aromas and flavors of fresh blackcurrant, black cherry, minerals and menthol. Typical youthful La Mission on the palate: classically dry and linear, in fact downright austere today. Finishes with building tannins and a lingering violet note. La Mission is often hard as nails at the Primeurs stage, and I've been wrong before in trying to discern just how much deep fruit it really has. Still, while I understand that this wine is very young yet, I'm not sure why it's so tough, considering all the merlot in the blend. I wondered about the yields, which seemed a little high for a grand vin, and technical director Jean-Philippe Masclef explained it was because of the lack of eclaircissage."