Château Haut Brion, 1er Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan, 2016

  Château Haut-Brion

Château Haut Brion, 1er Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan

As is often the way, Haut Brion requires a leap of faith. The terroir is almost identical to that of Mission, but whereas its stablemate is sumptuous and transparent, Haut Brion is introverted, a closed book. History tells us that a metamorphosis takes place between barrel and bottle. At the moment this is all coiled power. With aeration there are notes of kirsch, tayberry, white stones and flowers, but by comparison to the extroverted Mission, this is positively mute. The fruit is darker on the palate, deep sweet cassis and mulberry interspersed with crushed rocks. At this stage, Haut Brion is showing more reserve and lacks the vibrancy and luxurious fruit of La Mission, but in ten or twenty or thirty years' time when this comes out of hibernation, we expect it to turn the tables... The Grand Vin accounts for 50% of the production and is made from 56% Merlot, 6.5% Cabernet Franc and 37.5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Haut-Brion

Haut Brion has arguably been the most consistent First Growth over the past twenty years. The exceptional terroir in the suburbs of Bordeaux has an uncanny knack of producing exquisitel wine whatever the weather throws at it. The estate can be traced back to the 14th century although the current owners can track their lineage back to 1935, when the American financier, Clarence Dillon bought the rather beleaguered estate. Now, Clarence Dillon’s great grandson, Prince Robert of Luxembourg manages the estate, however, much of the success enjoyed by this estate is down to the Delmas family. Three generations have made Haut Brion their life’s work, George (1921-1960), Jean Bernard (1960-2003) and Jean-Philippe (2003-to present).

The vineyards sit upon two gravel croupes and are planted with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc for the reds and Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for the whites. Aside from the Grand vins, the estate produce a second wine, Clarence de Haut Brion, previously called Bahans de Haut Brion and Clarte de Haut Brion, previously called Plantiers de Haut Brion.

Appellation: Pessac-Léognan

The region has one first growth, Château Haut-Brion, whilst other renowned Chateaux currently doing well are La Mission-Haut-Brion, Pape-Clément, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Haut-Bailly. Soils are gravely and well-drained and the plantations are similar in proportion to those of the Médoc, consisting mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The region is also well known for its long-lived whites that can be varying blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon oaked or unoaked. The most lauded are Domaine de Chevalier, Haut-Brion, Pape-Clement, De Fieuzal, and Laville-Haut-Brion.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc

The hallowed Bordeaux trinity of grape varieties that form the stock left bank blend. Cabernet's Sauvignon's acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics, and Cabernet Franc's finesse and freshness. This classic combination has worked so successfully in Bordeaux that it is now mirrored the world over, particularly in warm sunny climates such as the Languedoc, Tuscany, South Africa, Australia and Napa Valley.