The Clarence de Haut Brion has more substance than the Chapelle and possesses a darker character. The typique gravelly minerality is still present with ample bramble fruit. The hedgerow fruit theme continues on the palate mixed in with black cherries and savoury notes. This has excellent poise, wonderful purity, a satin texture and wonderful, sumptuous smooth stone tannins. Very refined. Produced from 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
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.
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.