Bordeaux 2023: Haut Brion & Co.

14 May 2024

It feels more like Mission Impossible this week with major chateaux dropping every hour. Today’s big news is the release of the Clarence Dillon stable: Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Quintus et al.

With the Grand Vin pricing almost 40% down on last year these look extremely compelling…

This is another flawless range from Jean-Philippe Delmas, which expresses the noble terroirs of the Bordeaux suburbs. La Mission Haut Brion is the more demonstrative of the Pessacs with a wonderfully vivid character and sumptuous tannins. Haut Brion by contrast is all about reserve and latent power. It’s mighty impressive, but patience will be required… Their respective second labels deserve an honourable mention too. Clarence and Chapelle are both beautifully clear-cut illustrations of their reflective sites.

As for the whites, well, these are collectors’ pieces indeed. There are interesting parallels with the reds this year. Again, Mission is more amenable with its gorgeous, expressive core of fruit and flowers. Haut Brion is the more tightly coiled, cerebral wine, with delicate notes of jasmine, pear and lime – in time it will no doubt surpass its neighbour. Yields were healthy, however, production of the two Grand Vins will be limited to the customary 6000 bottles of each. The extra production goes into the very impressive Clarté, the joint second wine from both chateaux. Composed and incisive, the Clarté is generous, refreshing and balanced. It’s a really interesting and more affordable introduction to the whites from Clarence Dillon.

We didn’t get to taste the St Emilions from Chateau Quintus this year. Recent vintages have demonstrated a real improvement here. The 2023 includes the vineyards purchased from Grand Pontet on the limestone plateau, which should boost both production and quality.

If you would like an allocation of any wines from this offer, please contact your account manager or follow the links to our website.

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