Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc 2018
Sought-after by wine lovers all over the world, Cha^teau La Mission Haut-Brion white wine is extremely rare (500 to 600 cases). Containing an average 85% Se´millon and 14% Sauvignon Blanc with a dash of Muscadelle, this voluptuous wine is rich and concentrated with a wonderfully long finish. Previously known as Cha^teau Laville Haut-Brion, Cha^teau La Mission Haut-Brion is a wine for the initiated. It is unique: when young, it has the characteristics of a great Gewurztraminer. Over time, it takes on the amber color of a great Sauternes wine. This dry white wine expresses all the attributes of a Graves sweet wine, specific to the Se´millon grown on these famous terroirs.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Dried green mango, kiwi, citrus and green apple on the nose. Essence of grapes. Some stone and flint undertones, too. It’s full-bodied and very tight with layers of fruit and phenolics, yet so integrated and polished. It spreads across the palate. Elegance with power. Drink in 2025.
Intense, with a very vibrant mix of tangerine, white peach, acacia, Meyer lemon, thyme and verbena notes all getting a turn as they race through. Long, salted butter note underscores the finish. A wine that marries brightness and purity with richness and opulence. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Best from 2022 through 2034.
The La Mission Haut-Brion 2018 Blanc is a blend of 57.4% Sauvignon Blanc and 42.6% Sémillon. It sashays out of the glass with gregarious notes of white peaches, fresh pears and pineapple with nuances of lime blossoms, crushed rocks and sea spray, plus a waft of beeswax. The racy, medium to full-bodied palate is charged with energy, delivering vibrant citrus and tropical fruit layers with a satiny texture and fantastic length. Completely exceeding my barrel tasting expectations, this promises to be an earlier drinking style, albeit multilayered, dripping with class and, yes, it's downright sexy. Give it just a few more months in bottle and then it should offer decadent drinking for the next 15+ years.
A richer, more textured wine than the Haut-Brion Blanc, no doubt due to its larger Sémillon content, the 2018 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc reveals a medium gold hue as well as beautiful pineapple, honeyed lime, star fruit, and floral aromas and flavors. Nicely concentrated on the palate, it's medium to full-bodied and offers beautiful acidity, plenty of depth and richness, and a great finish. A slightly softer wine, it doesn't have the precision of its counter mate yet brings more texture and opulence. It's another brilliant white that will benefit from short-term cellaring and evolve for 15+ years or so.
Tasted side by side, the 2018 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is unequivocally a few steps ahead of the 2018 Haut-Brion Blanc. I made sure to decant my bottle for three hours before penning a single note, as it always demands aeration. Slightly deeper in color, which is nothing unusual, it has a more complex bouquet of yellow fruit, peach skin, almond shavings, hazelnut and light lanolin notes, all beautifully defined. The palate is extremely well balanced with a tangy, marmalade-tinged entry, dried honey and a slight pepperiness toward the finish. Very cohesive and focused, this is a marvelous, quite cerebral La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc. Superb. Drinking window: 2022 - 2050
A serious wine that is just beginning to show its white flower and honeysuckle notes. A vintage that shows its warmth in a slightly lower acidity, but it is still an impressive textured white. Drinking Window 2021 - 2030
Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.
Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.
Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.
The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.
Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.
Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux White Blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added intrigue. Popularized in Bordeaux, the blend is often mimicked throughout the New World. Somm Secret—Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but they can be served before, during or after a meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage.