Very linear and forceful with eye-watering intensity and acidity backing up a spicy middle. Very concentrated and compact with tight lemon, it seemed more closed and embryonic to me than others seem to have found it. Rating: 91+? L&S (Apr 2014)
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(76% semillon and 24% sauvignon blanc; 46 h/h yield): Bright, pale yellow-gold. Subtly complex aromas of white stone fruits, lime, nut oil, nutmeg, menthol and bitter grapefruit. A huge, deep wine with laser-like acidity lifting the highly concentrated tropical fruit, white peach, spice and herb flavors. As youthfully chewy, thick and palate-staining as this is, it's also wonderfully light on its feet, showing uncommon class. One of the ten best Bordeaux wines of the year. Rating: 93-96 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2014)
Sauvignon Blanc 24% Sémillon 76% The nose has lots of rich fruit and the start of the palate has pineapple and tropical fruit richness. There is freshness underneath with crunchy gooseberry and citrus. All the flavours are in balance and the finish is long and lingering. 2016-22 Rating: 93-95 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(May 2014)
76% Sémillon, 24% Sauvignon Blanc. Toasty, gentle lemon fruit. Light creamy texture, and quite a pithy, almost chewy finish. Very delicate, but the flavours are fully formed. (RH) Drink 2015-2018. Rating: 16.5 Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(May 2014)
A blend of Semillon with 24% Sauvignon Blanc, this is among the best whites of the vintage. It’s still quite closed, wound around a compact mineral core, with some reductive, struck match aromas, but the wine has focus, length and considerable class. 2016-24 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2014)
(76 Semillon, 24 Sauvignon Blanc) Exceptional class and depth here and the use of oak is beautiful. It has added serious class to the wine. Good length, with lemon balm and mint notes. The flavour intensity grows on the palate and there are mouth-watering herb and sweet spice notes which appear late in the finish. Superb style, lovely balance throughout and relatively forward, too. Rating: 18+ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com(Apr 2014)
Fine lemon yellow, broad dry honey nose, with the depth of 76% Semillon lifted by 24% Sauvignon in a perfectly balanced expression. The Chevalier-Montrachet of the Graves. Drink: 2016-2028. Rating: 18 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2014)
Gorgeous white peach, jicama and verbena notes glide along, with a racy edge that gains steam through the very bright, pure finish, which is brisk and energetic, showing serious length and mouthwatering minerality. This has a lovely stony backdrop. Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Rating: 93–96 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2014)
Grapefruit, lemon, crushed rocks and white flowers inform the 2013 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, the estate's Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend. Bright and finely chiseled to the core, the 2013 boasts striking energy to match its layers of saline-infused flavors. Rating: 91-93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2014)
The Le Mission Haut Brion Blanc is a blend of 76% Semillon and 24% Sauvignon Blanc picked between 19 September and 1 October. It has a strict bouquet with lime flower and dried quince, the Semillon very expressive and firmly in the driving seat. The palate is well balanced with a pretty, elegant entry. The acidity is nicely judged and even at this early stage the wine flows nicely. The second sample at the end of primeur had a wonderful saline, marine influence on the finish that added another layer of complexity. Congratulations on one of the best wines of the vintage Rating: 94-96 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2014)
A white with a fabulous minerality and citrus character as well as hints of papaya and other tropical fruits. Full body with a wonderful backbone and length. Focused and powerful. Half sauvignon blanc and half sémillon. Rating: 95-96 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2014)
Château la Mission Haut Brion
Surrounded by the urban sprawl of Bordeaux, facing each other across the street are Châteaus Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion. In the 16th Century Arnaut de Roustaing, who had bought what is today La Mission, married Marie de Pontac, sister of Haut Brion owner Jean de Pontac, but, despite being immediate neighbours, this is as close as the two estates got to common history until the modern era. The "Haut Brion" portion of the name appears to, simply, to be a little commercial plagiarisation of the sort that Haut Brion has suffered more than most. Arnaut's grand-daughter left the estate to the Congregation of the Mission in 1654, who built a small chapel in the vineyards called Notre Dame de la Mission. Church ownership seems to have been good for La Mission Haut Brion and the fame of the wines grew. Cardinal Richelieu appears to have been a fan. But Chuch ownership could not survive the French Revolution and the various private owners that followed oversaw a fall in quality and reputation. The modern history, and revival of La Mission Haut Brion, dates from 1919 when Frédéric Woltner bought the estate. Together with his sons, he revitalised La Mission, installing the, then, cutting edge technology of temperature-controlled fermentation and restructuring the vineyards. The next generation of Woltners, however, fell into discord and sold La Mission Haut Brion to Domaine Clarence Dillon SA, owners of Château Haut Brion in 1983, bringing the two neighbours under the same ownership. Since then, La Mission Haut Brion has grown considerably in reputation and ranks among the best château, not only in Pessac-Léognan, but in Bordeaux as a whole. There are 21ha of vines, planted to 45% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with the balance being Cabernet Franc. Red wines are aged in 100% new oak for just under 2 years. If remembering the differences between Haut Brion proper and La Mission Haut Brion wasn't enough, the two estates are also responsible for a confusing array of other "Haut Brions". The Woltner family were bequeathed Château La Tour Haut Brion in 1933 and this was produced as seperate wine by La Mission until the 2005 vintage, since when the grapes from La Tour Haut Brion have been used in the blend for La Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion, La Mission's second wine. The Woltners also purchased the near-by property of Château Laville Haut Brion and produced a very successful white wine there. This has now been re-named Château la Mission Haut Brion Blanc. Châteaus Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion also produce a joint white second wine called La Clarté de Haut Brion.
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