CHÂTEAU LA MISSION HAUT BRION BLANC

2020 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan

EN PRIMEUR

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. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050 Rating: 94-96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

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. Drinking range: 2028 - 2055 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (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. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

Cask sample taken 13 April. 54.7% Sauvignon Blanc, 45.3% Sémillon picked 19 to 28 August. Estimated alcohol 13.8%. 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. Drinking range: 2024 - 2037 Rating: 17++ Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 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. Rating: 18.5+/20 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Apr 2021)

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.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.

Ordering

Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

Confirmation

All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.

Delivery

  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.