|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
The rare dry white wine from La Mission Haut Brion is made by the same team as Haut Brion Blanc. It used to be known as Laville Haut Brion but changed its name in 2009. The 2.5 hectare vineyard produces around 500 dozen bottles annually. There is more Semillon planted here than Sauvignon Blanc (the opposite of Haut Brion Blanc).
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The 2016 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is, unusually, dominated by Sauvignon Blanc at 62.7%, with 37.3% Semillon making up the blend. It needs a fair bit of swirling to coax out notes of lime leaves, lemongrass, and shaved ginger, over a core of gooseberry preserves, apple tart, and chalk dust. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has electric intensity, featuring mineral-sparked citrus layers and a silken texture, finishing long and energetic.
This is fruity and exotic with key limes and mangoes. Full body, some phenolic texture and a long and flavorful finish. Mostly sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris with hints of muscadelle and semillon.
They have the weight of expectation here, of course, with this wine known to be one of the greatest whites in Bordeaux, and you can feel the battle against the summer drought. It's still stunning though, riven with rich citrus, white pepper and soft grilled almonds, and it grips the sides of your mouth, keeping up the pace. This is the first time since it changed its name from Laville Haut-Brion where there is more Sauvignon Blanc than Sémillon, chosen because it helped to capture the freshness. 30% of the production went into this, 40% to Clarté, and a full 30% into Clarendelle. The blend is 62.7% Sauvignon Blanc and 37.3% Sémillon aged in 37% new oak.
Drinking Window 2019 - 2035
Thick and sweet and racy. Some wild notes. Very different from the old Laville Haut-Brion! Great tension. A halfway house with some ginger flavour.
The rare dry white wine from La Mission Haut Brion is made by the same team as Haut Brion Blanc. It used to be known as Laville Haut Brion but changed its name in 2009. The 2.5 hectare vineyard produces around 500 dozen bottles annually. There is more Semillon planted here than Sauvignon Blanc (the opposite of Haut Brion Blanc). 2016 is the first time in the wine's history that there is more Sauvignon Blanc in the blend of La Mission Haut Brion, with 63%, and the remaining 37% Semillon. Pale in colour and immediately different to the usual wine. Very zesty, taut and mineral. The palate is fresh, vibrant and limey with a touch of apple and citrus. Firm and smoky through the mid palate, this should gain more weight and flesh out with additional time in barrel, but it remains tight in the glass even as more aromatics unfurl with time.
Ranking with the top 3-4 whites in the vintage, the 2016 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is Sauvignon-dominated in 2016 and is 62.7% Sauvignon and 37.3% Sémillon. Vibrant and racy, with beautiful tension and purity, it offers a classic perfume of tart apples, dried herbs, lemon curd, and a liquid rock-like minerality that develops with time in the glass. The buzzwords here are vibrant, bright, tight, and great. Drink 2021-2046.
The nose has a racy freshness the start of the palate citrusy spicy with white pepper, white flowers a hint of sage. Ripe fruit in the middle white peach some tropical fruits the back palate leaner fresh the finish has length and lingering fruit. 2018-26
“It was a challenge to preserve freshness in the whites in 2016,” according to Jean-Philippe Delmas, but he certainly succeeded here. This is a focused, taut, pithy, Sauvignon-led white, with subtle oak, thrilling minerality and grapefruit and gooseberry notes. 2020-30
The La Mission Haut Brion 2016 Blanc is a blend of 62.7% Sauvignon Blanc and 37.3% Sémillon picked from 5-13 September. It has a crisp bouquet with kiwi, grapefruit and cold stone aromas, although it does not convey the vigor or complexity of the 2015, due to the lower proportion of Sémillon. The palate is well balanced with a pleasant texture; there is orange zest, lime, a touch of stem ginger and a very satisfying, quite persistent finish. It is a well-made La Mission Haut Brion Blanc that should give 10-20 years of drinking pleasure.
Drink Date 2020 - 2040
Although this has great freshness, candied-lemon and complex dried herb character, it also has a rich and waxy side, plus a touch of vanilla. Rich and powerful with a lot more structure than most Pessac-Léognan whites. It also has wonderful tension and drive that’s rooted in the vibrant acidity, but supported by the mineral and lemon-zest notes. A blend of 62.7 per cent sauvignon blanc and 37.3 per cent semillon. Better from 2021.
This is dense like a Montrachet yet so minerally with crushed-stone undertones. Full-bodied, layered and powerful. A great glass of white wine. First time they used a majority of sauvignon blanc.
Conditions were a little challenging for the Sémillon this year, and the blend of the La Mission Haut-Brion 2016 Blanc is, unusually, dominated by Sauvignon Blanc (62.7%) with 37.3% Sémillon. It reveals subtle notions of mandarin peel, fresh grapefruit and pineapple with touches of crushed rocks, white peaches and coriander seed. Medium-bodied, the palate has a racy line of freshness cutting through the vibrant citrus and tropical layers, finishing on a lingering mineral note. Considering the challenges, this is a very impressive result! Drink 2020 - 2035.