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Formerly named Château Laville Haut-Brion, Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is produced in such extremely limited quantities that it is confined to the initiated. Its make-up almost 85% of Semillon, 14% Sauvignon Blanc and a pinch of Muscadelle ? also makes it unique. When young it possesses the characteristics of a premier Gewurztraminer. With time it trades its Alsatian color for the amber of the great Sauterne wines. Then this dry white wine expresses all the particular traits of a great syrupy Graves wine that are specific to the Semillon grown in famous terroirs.
Surface area planted: 2.55 hectares (6.30 acres)
Planted grape varieties: 85% Sémillon, 14% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Muscadelle
Fermentation in oak casks
Length of initial maturing period in oak casks: 9-12 months in 40-50% new wood
Average production: 500 to 700 cases
The first in a trio of great vintages and one that has been rather overshadowed by the 89s and 90s.Definitely the most "classic" of the trio, with many of the wines not being overtly fruit-driven but having levels of extract and concentration that that make them perfect candidates for extended cellaring.
The first half of the year was unusually cold and wet and the vintage was saved by a long, dry, warm summer. Harvesting began in mid September and some of the Cabernets were not picked until the 3rd week of October. Most of the wines are now approaching their plateau of maturity with the pick of the bunch being the Cabernet-dominated Médocs and Graves. Pauillac was particularly successful.