2009 Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Blanc, Pessac-Léognan

2009 Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Blanc, Pessac-Léognan

White, Ready, but will improve   White | Ready, but will improve | Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion | Code: 952240 | 2009 | France > Bordeaux > Pessac-Leognan | Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

JANCIS

17.5/20

PARKER

96-100/100

WS

93-96/100

JANCIS - Very stinky Sauvignon-like aromas despite the fact that it’s 84% Sémillon. Very perfumed and with lots of gras but strong grapefruit aromas. Then a little sudden on the finish.
(Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - April 2010)

PARKER - An exquisite blend of 84% Semillon and 16% Sauvignon Blanc, this wine possesses a zesty crushed rock component intermixed with lemon butter, fig, white currant, quince and melons. Its steely backbone of acidity gives precision and zestiness to what is a full-bodied, powerful, concentrated dry white that should evolve for 20 or more years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate #199 - Feb 2012 

WS - Subtle yet intense aromas of lemon pie, apple crumble and Brazilian lime follow through to a full body, with a dense concentration of fruit but an excellent backbone of acidity that turns to peaches and dried lemons on the finish.
James Suckling - Wine Spectator - April 2010

The Story

Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion

Producer

Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion

Château La Mission-Haut-Brion is the greatest Graves wine after Haut-Brion and in some vintages is considered the superior wine of the two. La Mission-Haut-Brion is situated just across the road from Haut-Brion in the commune of Talence in the southern suburbs of Bordeaux. Since 1983, both properties have been under the same ownership, Domaine Clarence Dillon S.A.

La Mission-Haut-Brion's vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 48%, Merlot 45%, Cabernet Franc 7%) lie on a large (up to 18 metres deep in places) gravel bank interspersed with clay. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats and then matured in oak barriques (100% new) for 18 months. The wines of La Mission Haut Brion are rich, oaky and powerful and need at least 10 years of bottle ageing before they should be broached.

Grape

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.

In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.

Region

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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