|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
The second wine of Château Haut Brion is assembled from the vats that don't suit the final blend of Haut Brion itself. From 2007 onwards it has been known as Le Clarence de Haut-Brion (instead of Bahans Haut Brion), in tribute to Clarence Dillon who purchased Haut Brion in 1934. It is now also bottled in the iconic and distinctive Haut Brion bottle.
The 2021 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has a very pure bouquet of blueberry, cedar and violet, perhaps slightly more ethereal than the La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion. The palate is medium-bodied with quite strict tannins and a little more saline than expected, leading to a fresh finish. Maybe it lacks a bit of persistence, but it is a fine Deuxième Vin.
One of the finest second wines in this vintage is the 2021 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered wine evocative of dark berries, plums, pipe tobacco and burning embers. Built around powdery tannins and lively acids, it's an elegant, seamless cuvée that does bear more than a passing resemblance to the grand vin.
Production across the Dillon Estates is down 10%, with abvs all roughly 13.5%. The 2021 Clarence Haut Brion is 70% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby colour. Smoky, quite dense and dark on the nose compared to the Chapelle de la Mission. The palate starts with a silky texture and dark but lively cherry fruit. Zippy acidity lends to a pithy and fine impression, but the textural refinement is as we have come to expect here. There is a supple ripeness that builds on the finish, together with quite a toasty, spicy character.
Bright and vibrant ruby and violet in colour, and even with higher levels of Merlot in the blend this year, this is more structured and subdued than the Chapelle with the character diffrence between the two estates fairly marked. Has a feeling of solidity and depth, with a focus on black fruits and tight tannins, give it a good four or five years before opening. 28% new oak.
70.4% Merlot, 18.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11.4% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Fragrant red-fruit notes. Broad and smooth on attack with finely integrated tannins. Palate a bit more subdued but fresh with firmness on the finish. Room for development. (JL) 13.6%
Drink 2026 – 2036