- Château Haut-Brion
- Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc
- 2028 - 2050
- Case size
- En Primeur
Neal Martin, May 2021,
The 2020 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc has an intense nose of white flowers, Conference pear, broom and almost basalt-like aromas. It demands an hour to really show what it can do – nothing new there. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine acidity, delivering grapefruit, passion fruit, touches of sour lemon and an underlying salinity that upholds the requisite tension on the finish. Very assured and classy, though perhaps the growing season denied it a soupçon of mineralité that would have elevated it to a bona fide great La Mission Blanc. As usual, it will require cellaring and ample decanting. Drink 2028 - 2055
Decanter, May 2021,
Fragrant white flowers, touches of lime blossom and slate-filled citrus. The acidity is fresh, but this is more about texture, and it is extremely successful. Harvest from 19th to 28th August. The minerality, together with freshly cut rosemary and sage notes, is accentuated as it opens, which is an excellent indicator of how well this wine will age. Deft winemaking, as ever, proving why this is one of Bordeaux's best loved white wines. Tasted twice. Drink 2022-2032
Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
The 2020 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is pure seduction. Creamy and layered in the glass, the 2020 is elegance personified. Hints of spice and white flowers lead into apricot, white peach, mint and sage, all beautifully knit together. The 2020 balances freshness with textural intensity so sell. It's an absolutely gorgeous wine. Drink 2030-2050
Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
Green apples, pears, lemon, grapefruit peel, spice, flowers, crushed rocks and stone create the nose. The palate is full, rich, deep and creamy, with endless layers of fresh, ripe, yellow citrus, honeysuckle and minerality tinted fruits that are made even better by its slap of crisp, biting acidity. Made from a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon, picking took place August 20, August 27.
Jancis Robinson, April 2021,
Very pale, low-key nose. Edgy and pungent with real freshness (more than Haut-Brion Blanc?). Sleek and dense with a certain smokiness and drive, but still pretty embryonic. Much less flashy and rich than this wine used to be. This promises well. Drink 2024–2037
Matthew Jukes, April 2021,
This is a stunning wine with a rich, layered palate and a super-long, savoury, salty finish. The oak is sensational and it only adds to the exotic citrus flavours found in this wine. The finish is keen and raspy with bright acidity and considerable structure. Super-youthful and with a long way to go, which will involve adding more obvious weight and texture to the framework as the commanding acidity senesces, this is a tremendous effort from La Mission. Already spellbinding, goodness only knows what will happen in the future when this wine finally unpacks all of its myriad qualities.
Arguably the oldest recognised Bordeaux grand cru, Haut Brion has been owned by the American Dillon family since 1935. The Château was an early moderniser - the first estate to implement steel vats in 1961 - and over the years, their incredible investments have re-established the inherent quality of this property, enabling it to emerge as possibly the most consistent first growth since the 1980s. Situated in Pessac-Léognan in Graves, the estate is the only classified growth located outside the Médoc. Château Haut Brion has the most Merlot and the most Cabernet Franc of any of the First Growths and the second wine is Bahans Haut Brion.
Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.