2022 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux
The 2022 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc contains much more Sémillon (72%) this year due to its quality, according to Jean-Philippe Delmas. It has a perfumed bouquet with white peach, honeysuckle, red apple and light candle wax. Superb delineation.
The palate is taut and linear, chalky in texture with good tension. It shows quite impressive weight, perhaps more than the Haut-Brion Blanc, with a dab of ginger enlivening the finish. Superb.
Drink 2030 - 2060
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is incredibly tightly wound, especially for the year and considering its heavy Semillon tilt in the blend. It will be interesting to see where this goes. There’s tremendous depth here and also a phenolic-like feel that is impossible to escape. My impression is that there is a lot of wine here, but it needs time to come together.
Drink 2026 - 2037
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
This is an extremely impressive white with high Sémillon levels in the blend this year, helped by old vines that resisted the heat well. Gorgeous construction and balance, with precision-cut citrus, bitter almond, slate, dill, white pepper spice, a juicy grip through the palate and noble bitterness bringing things to a close. Less 1st wine than last year - 20% less first wine with the same yield; 41% new oak barrels for ageing. Harvest August 17 to 23.
Drink 2023 - 2032
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
Perhaps it’s because of the drought-affected vintage, or it could be due to the fantastic terroir of La Mission Haut-Brion, but in any case, the 2022 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is especially aromatically expressive, bursting with lively aromas of pear, linen, smoke, gunflint, lemon and spring flowers. Medium to full-bodied, crystalline and pure, it’s tensile and seamless, with impressively vibrant acids and a saline finish.
Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
So much oyster shell here with a chalk stone character, dried lemons, sliced white peaches, and pears. It’s medium to full body with lovely fruit and a flavorful finish. Bitter lemon as well. 72% semillon and 28% sauvignon blanc.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Crisp, crunchy, juicy, lively and filling, this has an excellent energy and tang to it while still keeping a balanced weight and cool freshness at the end. Not at all showy, very relaxed, generous and fun.
I really like this, giving just enough juicy and creamy lemon, apricot and peach fruit and bitter citrus peel to be really interesting. Long length, great persistence and detail. This will be great to drink and enjoy young. 3.3pH.
Drink 2023 - 2037
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is mostly Sémillon (72%), and compared to its big brother, the Haut-Brion Blanc, it's more closed and inward, with classic Sémillon power and richness.
Ripe melon, white flowers, honeyed minerality, and chalky notes all define the aromatics, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a great mid-palate and outstanding length. It's a downright mineral bomb on the finish and is a brilliant white in the making.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
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.
Sauvignon 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.