Château La Mission Haut Brion, Cru Classé, Pessac Léognan, 2018

  Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Produced from 53.5% Merlot, 3.6% Cabernet Franc and 42.9% Cabernet Sauvignon. Those who have already read our notes on Chapelle and Clarence will know that we were bowled over by the Clarence Dillon range - La Mission was not to be a disappointment. This is usually a wine of First Growth breed sold at a significant discount. It's a mystery why it doesn't have more of a following. The 2018 Mission is absolutely superb. Initially open and flashy, it shows a fair lick of oak, but that doesn't detract from the opulent bouquet of deep minerals, wonderful cassis, violets and spice. On the palate this has real power and a sense of authority. Waves of ripe loganberry, smooth gravel, sweet charred meats, black fruit and graphite coat the palate. Although this is a powerhouse Mission, there is real control and detail, sumptuous, almost opulent fruit, such persistence and class. As one would expect from such a regal terroir, the tannins are pitch perfect, gently caressing the palate leaving detailed nuanced fruit and hints of salty minerals. A most seductive Mission.

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: Merlot | Cab. Sauvignon | Cab. Franc

Three of the classic Bordeaux varieties. A relatively rare blend for the right bank, where Cabernet Sauvignon plays a greater role than Cabernet Franc (Figeac being one of the few examples), while on the left bank this is most likely to crop up in the communes with cooler, damper soils such as St Estèphe.