Château La Mission Haut Brion, Blanc, Pessac Léognan, 2017

  Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Wonderfully clear and pure on the nose, with precise notes of citrus pith and cut grass, then a rich oily concentrated attack on the palate as the dominant Semillon component asserts itself, with anise, lemon zest and concentrated essential citrus oil notes alongside green apricot and basil. Long, powerful and concentrated. Bigger framed than Haut Brion this year, with perhaps a shade less vitality and urgency about it. The blend of 76% Semillon and 24% Sauvignon Blanc was harvested between 22nd and 31st August.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Haut Brion’s sister property has a habit of trumping its more illustrious sibling. Owned by Domaine Clarence Dillon S.A., La Mission’s vineyards lie in the same suburbs as those of Haut Brion on deep gravel croupes interspersed with clay. The cepage is not dissimilar in the red wine (48% Cabernet, 45% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc) although the Haut Brion Blanc (formally Laville Haut Brion) has a lot more Semillon in the blend than Haut Brion Blanc.

Stylistically, La Mission Haut Brion rouges is more accessible and open than the deeply mineral and slightly introverted Haut Brion when young, but given time the Haut Brion will begin to show its power. Both wines reward long term aging to be at their best.

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: Sauvignon Blanc | Semillon

The traditional dry white Bordeaux blend is usually barrel-fermented to produce a richer, less assertive, food friendly style of Sauvignon with the Semillon adding weight and flesh to the blend. The greatest, most long-lived examples are to be found in the Pessac-Léognan and Graves. The blend has been mirrored to great effect by producers in New Zealand and Australia to produce juicy enjoyable early drinking wines.