The 2021 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion has a pure black cherry and wild strawberry bouquet, very well defined and revealing hints of vanilla pod with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but firm tannins, and quite concentrated for a Deuxième Vin, leading to a nicely structured, slightly chewy finish. A gutsy La Chapelle.
Drink 2025 - 2038
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
Subtle and sculpted, with clarity to the vivid and ripe sweet cherry, raspberry and loganberry fruits. This is bright and great quality, takes its time to open, but then shows waves of flavour, with smoked earth and campfire smoke. The lower alcohols are unusual in the Haut-Brion range of wines, and it has been several years since seeing anything under 14%, and it takes a moment to adjust to the different weight in the palate. 48hl/h yields after no frost and very little mildew. 27% new oak. Subtle, this takes its time to open.
Drink 2025 - 2038
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
Lively, juicy and at this stage a little more open than Le Clarence. Acidity evident but not obtrusive. Delicate fruit weight but plenty of energy and drive, the tannins fine and integrated. Balanced. Could improve further if it fills out in the bottle.
Drink 2026 - 2036
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
Aromas of dark berries, rich spices, loamy soil and new oak introduce the 2021 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and charming wine with an enveloping core of fruit, lively acids and powdery tannins that gently assert themselves on the finish. While it can't match the polish and elegant of La Clarence de Haut-Brion this year, it's a fine second wine.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
Nicely firm and structured with a tight core of blackberry, stone and bark with some graphite. Grainy, firm tannins. Fresh and focused finish. 51.3% merlot, 45.2% cabernet sauvignon and 3.5% cabernet franc.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
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.
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.
Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grape varieties commonly used in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in the Bordeaux region of France. When these two grapes are blended, they can create a wine that combines the best characteristics of each variety.
Merlot is known for its smoothness, soft tannins, and ripe fruit flavours. It often contributes black cherry, plum, and chocolate flavours to the blend. The grapes are relatively easy to grow and ripen earlier than other Bordeaux varieties, making them versatile for blending.
Cabernet Franc, on the other hand, adds structure, depth, and complexity to the blend. It typically brings aromas of red fruits such as raspberry and strawberry, along with herbal notes like bell pepper and tobacco. These grapes have thinner skins and can be more challenging to cultivate, requiring specific growing conditions to reach their full potential.
When Merlot and Cabernet Franc are combined, the result is a well-balanced wine with various flavours and aromas. The blend often exhibits a Bordeaux wine's medium to full body, along with a smooth texture and moderate tannins. The specific flavour profile can vary depending on the proportions of each grape in the blend and the terroir and winemaking techniques employed.