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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Or, check the RELATED PRODUCTS below for different vintages or wines of a similar style.
(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)
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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