TNR - 2002 La Mission Haut Brion

I just came into a bottle. I know it ain’t 1982, which was transcendently delicious even in the parking lot at a tailgate. It’s not even 2001, which of course was not 2000. It’s the dreaded 2002. But on the other hand, at the price (zero) it’s a bargain. Anyone have any recent experience with it. A couple of CT notes by peeps I know seem to indicate it is good but not to die for, but you never know if Salil, Jeff Leve and Burgundy Al were drinking wine or labels. The rest of the notes are from people with handles I don’t recognize.

Congrats Jay! I hope it turns out to be a great bottle for you. What do you think you’ll use as a drinking time frame? The notes didn’t really give much guidance as to possible improvement ahead. It’s a good problem to have though.

I have never drank wine with Jeff Leve or Burgundy Al so I cant comment on any possible bias, but I would be very surprised if Jeff was inclined to over rate it, as his score was slightly lower, and he is a professional reviewer, who has tried many more exotic wines than that.

As for Salil I have shared wine with him several times when he lived locally and I have always been impressed with the bottles and his palate. Considering the caliber of wines he drinks I think he would give his honest assesment with very little bias.

Following with interest. My wife gave me one when we first started dating. I’ve been wondering when to open it.

This one, by the way, comes from my uncle’s estate. He had about 90 bottles and we divided them up among 5 of us. I divided the wine into five “buckets” based upon what I thought was fair and then let everyone else pick a bucket. I took the the last choice, but it turned out that there was one bottle missing from the list I used for the division - the 2002 La Mission. Since only my sister really likes wine and she hates Bordeaux, I took the odd bottle.

What’s wrong with 2002?


In my opinion it is a very good vintage on the left bank. Classically styled clarets.

2002 was the year of freedom fries so was boycotted across the pond (which meant prices were lower so I bought quite a bit of left bank. But there are plenty of great wines: Mouton Rothschild (I have not had it) , Pichon Baron and Lalande, Cos d’estournel… (I have had them)

I am yet to open a Haut Brion though. Any good?

I would quite confidently rely on any reviews by Salil or Burg Al. Both are very knowledgable and experienced tasters and I trust their palates quite a bit.

Remember , All the first growths were under $100 for '02 futures. [cheers.gif]

<100$? So if it was cheap…it was bad… [cheers.gif]

It is a pleasant but not great La Mission. If you were to put it into a vertical, it would get lost. Drink it by itself, it is in early maturity, still quite primary but the Graves aromatics are beginning to appear. Probably needs another five years, but you can drink it now and it will grace any meal.

That’s what I was thinking. I don’t need to serve it with 1982 and 2000. I can certainly wait 5 years - I have enough other wine. Maybe I’ll serve it at the next Jets home playoff game.

Longer than 5 years!

IMHO, Salil has a spectacular palate. He has a lot of geeky wines but I would not call him a label drinker at all. He was drinking Verset when it was sub-$50 and bringing it to an offline back then got you no props. The problem with Salil, for you Jay, is dramatically different palate preferences.

Yeah 02 Graves is great fun. I’d hang on to this for 5-10, even more if you like them really old.

Guys - I have known and drunk with Salil for well over a decade. You remember the famous photo of Salil with the Member’s Only jacket. Taken in my kitchen. One of the first times we drank together was at a Saxum dinner with Justin Smith. The fact that I had to pick him up off the floor when he fell on the floor due to the high ABV is a mere technicality. His palate has never been the same since.

That night was epic. I think salil quit WB after we gave him so much shit about that jacket. The last standing member only.

I had the 2002 La Mission last month and found it to be a very nice wine. The 1985 we drank alongside it was better and more squarely mature, but the 2002 still showed well and in my opinion better than a few other bottles of first and second growth Bordeaux we had that night from various other vintages. If you believe it has been stored well, take the opportunity to have it with a nice meal where it can stand on its own. No rush to drink it, but don’t feel that you absolutely must wait 5-10 years either. It’s good now with a couple of hours in the decanter.