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La Mission Haut Brion is situated in Bordeaux' southern suburb, Talence. From 1919 and until 1983, it was Woltner family, who had owned this property. Under Woltner's reign, La Mission Haut Brion experienced one of its greatest period with string of fine vintages and was considered then as fully on the level with First Growths and sometimes even better than these. In 1983, owners of Haut Brion purchased La Mission Haut Brion and today its Jean Philippe Delmas, who's responsible for this property.
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.
The 1955 was A happy year. Vineyards were particularly beautiful throughout the region. Ideal harvest conditions and the wines were a success everywhere.
The land that makes up the Château La Mission Haut-Brion estate was donated in 1664 to the congregation of the Lazarites or Prêcheurs de la Mission, established by Saint Vincent de Paul. Appropriated by the government during the Revolution, it was sold in 1792. There were many changes in ownership, until the Woltner family bought the estate in 1919. That family, especially Henri Woltner, built the reputation upon which the wine still stands. The family retained ownership until 1983, when the estate was purchased by its famous neighbour, Château Haut-Brion.
La Mission Haut-Brion had been Haut-Brion’s only serious competitor for the title of the best wine in Graves. Many wine-lovers around the world feared that the characteristic differences between these two neighbouring wines would fade once they were produced by the same winemaker, the brilliant Jean-Bernard Delmas. Luckily they need not have feared, as both wines still number among the best in the world, but are separate and individual.
In Bordeaux the 1955 began with unstable weather conditions just before summer, but turned into an extremely favourable season by the end of the year. A beautiful, sunny and warm—if not hot—period prevailed throughout August and September, until the just the right amount of much-needed rain came along. The crop turned out to be of the highest quality. However, because the vintage was overshadowed by the 1953, it offering wines with a good price-quality ratio that can still be enjoyed today. Ripe grapes and autumn rain guaranteed an excellent year for Sauternes wines. The wines of this vintage vary widely in quality, and many are dominated by tannins. Only the finest wines, such as the Lafleur, Cheval Blanc and Mouton-Rothschild, offer balance and richness.