x
  • Country ranking ?

    1 531
  • Producer ranking ?

    30
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    from 2018
  • Food Pairing

    Grilled seafood, fresh oysters, Turbot a la Meuniere & Lobster Thermidor

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The 2015 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, a blend of one-third Sauvignon Blanc and two-thirds Semillon, picked between 28 August and 8 September, has an attractive bouquet with lime, Granny Smith apples, orange zest and cold stone, well defined if not the most complex that I have encountered over the years. The palate is lively on the entry with fine tension and impressive intensity, spicy on the tip of the tongue, almost fiery, with the Semillon dominating the finish and lending the complexity: hints of dried pineapple, almond and Cornice pear. This is an excellent La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, but it needs a few years for the aromatics to really open, just as Laville Haut-Brion did in the old days.

Score: 92/94

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

Very balanced and fresh with stone and dried peach aromas and flavors. Very aromatic. Full body, fine phenolics and licorice. Show power and richness.

Score: 97/98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

The 2015 La Mission Haut-Bion Blanc is deep, powerful and intense, yet with no excess heaviness. A vertical, structured white, the 2015 possesses remarkable depth along with a spherical expression of fruit that is a joy to behold. The aromatics haven't begun to develop yet, but there is time for that. Plenty of time. This is an especially rich, concentrated white that is going to require a bit of bottle age to offer its finest drinking.

Score: 93/96

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

Depth on the nose a rich mix of tropical fruit the start of the palate is fleshy with white peach. There is balance the richness on the mid palate refreshed by grapefruit and lime and although the back palate has sweet fruit the finish bright with a racy length.

Score: 94/96

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

If you’re looking for a top white to cellar in 2015, this would be a great candidate, combining freshness and focus with understated power. It’s not quite as good as the 2014, but it’s still a remarkable white with toasty, waxy complexity underpinned by acidity and vanilla spice. Drink: 2017-30

Score: 95

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 201

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The Story

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.

More details

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

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Vintage 2015

Complete 2015 Bordeaux report by Andrew Caillard MW “Next in line of a great series of vintages; 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 & 2015.”

 

2015 is a wonderful Bordeaux vintage without the hype or hysteria associated with 2009 and 2010. The wines are generally expressive and generous with marvellous concentration and structure. Give another year in barrel, the wines should gain more fruit complexity and volume. The Châteaux, across all sub-regions, are excited by the beautiful fragrance, clear fruit flavours and brisk energy of the wines, and believe the vintage to be the best since 2010. More than a few times the phrase “a vintage of the decade” has been mentioned. I have tasted through most of the top wines, some on more than a few occasions, and feel confident that this is a vintage worth supporting. It is a very successful vintage.

 

Weather conditions were generally ideal with perfect flowering and set during Spring. A hot dry and sunny spell during June and July kept the vines in balance; the near-drought conditions resulted in excellent cluster development. Veraison (in which the grape berries turn from green and hard to coloured and fleshy) began towards the end of July. Light rains refreshed the canopies and hydrated the clusters. Cooler weather arrived in August with above average rainfall. The northern Medoc was exposed to heavy rains, but no berry splitting or significant disease pressure was reported. The cooler conditions running up to harvest in September allowed the grapes to conserve their aromatic potential and ripen relatively evenly.

 

The red wines across the right bank and the left bank are generally impressive in concentration, vigour and freshness. While all the wines are tasted extremely young, it is easy to see the quality and dimension of the vintage. Merlot performed particularly well, with many Châteaux picking intermittently over a three-week window to achieve optimal freshness, fleshiness and ripeness. Cabernet Franc, its companion in many of the wines, gives an attractive “tannin seam” and structural vigour. Already observers are calling it a right bank (St Emilion & Pomerol) year. Ch Vieux Château Certan, described as “La Force Tranquille,”and Château Petrus were my top two right bank wines followed by Château Ausone. All have a buoyancy and precision that augers well for the future.

 

The southern left bank (Margaux and Pessac-Leognan) also stumped up some beautiful concentrated wines. The alcoholic strength and tannin ripeness seem to correlate with this impression.  Cabernet Sauvignon, typically ”needing to takes its time”, brought wines of lovely aromaticity, concentration and vitality. The success of this variety has been dependent on the sophistication of harvesting and selection at blending. Château Margaux and Château Palmer are amazing wines. Château Haut Brion and Château La Mission Haut Brion made dense chocolaty styles. Château Haut Bailly is particularly refined and beautifully balanced.

 

At Château Batailley, the introduction of a second wine and closer attention to differentiation, led to one of the best vintages in its history. Many of the small refinements and decisions in the vineyard and winery allowed several top Châteaux in St Julien, Pauillac and St Estephe to make beautiful wines too. The hard selection process is particularly evident on the left bank. Château Margaux and Château Cos d’Estournel chose to rigorously defend their first wines by very detailed picking and selection. Only 35% and 39% (respectively) of the harvest went into their Grand Vin. St Emilion’s Ch Cheval Blanc on the other hand comprised 95.1% of the harvest, leaving no reason to make Petit Cheval in 2015.

 

Attention to detail in the vineyard, especially after the August rains, and huge investment in optical sorting machines (at a cost of around 200,000 Euros each) at harvest ensured the grapes were in good condition before vinification. It is quite incredible how the fruit arrives into the winery these days. Meticulous attention to detail has become the norm within the Grand Cru Classé community. The First Growth Estates with their huge financial investments in vineyard and cellar practices, all made impressive wines this year. Perhaps the most evocative of all is Château Margaux. The death of the estate’s longstanding winemaker Paul Pontallier, on Easter Sunday from cancer, rocked Bordeaux’s wine community. He was a man for all seasons. He brought the best out of his people and his wines, whatever the vintage offered. 2015 Château Margaux, in all likelihood, will be the greatest vintage of its modern history.

 

Despite the sombre mood at this year’s 2015 En Primeurs tastings, the energy of Spring brought a sense of renewal. Budburst in the vineyards, white and pink blossom in full bloom, the pure chirrup of fledglings and the vibrant new wines of the vintage promised the animation and maturation of life. The colours, densities, flavours and tannin quality of the young red wines all suggest a great vintage in the making. It is one of the wine trade’s most curious practices to make comment on unfinished wine, yet somehow the predictions become more or less right. Over the next year the wines will develop more fruit complexity, richness and volume in barrel. The tannins, oak and fruit will further integrate.

 

The sweet aperitif/ dessert wines of Sauternes and Barsac have also fared extremely well. The combination of even ripening and optimum outbreaks of botrytis cinerea has brought some magnificent wines. Some are calling it the best vintage since 2001, arguably the greatest vintage in recent memory. While Ch d’Yquem looked gorgeous, the elegantly styled Ch Climens, still in many parts, will be wonderful. Typically this wine is tasted out of several barrels, and my notes are a composite of eight different elements. The fragrance, vibrancy, freshness, and line are amazing. The dry whites, mainly Sauvignon Blanc or Gris dominant are refreshing styles with attractive freshness and drive. Ch Haut Brion Blanc is an amazing wine, but its release price will reflect its rarity.

 

The Châteaux will likely bring out the vintage in two tranches to capture the appetite of the world’s wine trade. The first offers will probably be a touch higher than last years opening prices. This will be against the advice of the negociants who have been running on very low margins for many years now. The weakening of the British Pound and the Australian Dollar against the euro may be a stumbling block for some buyers, but there will be value and opportunity in this forthcoming primeur campaign. For Australian buyers, this is absolutely the best way to buy Bordeaux. Provenance is guaranteed, allocations confirmed and the price will still be less than future imports, by virtue of the structure of the Place de Bordeaux.

Better market conditions in China and the US, together with a significant vintage in both quantity and quality, will see momentum return to Bordeaux after a four-year period of stagnation and uncertainty. The cat and mouse game between the Châteaux, the negociants and wine trade now begins. Regardless of the outcome, Bordeaux will continue to be the fine wine reference for many decades. There is something utterly unique, invigorating and evocative about mature Bordeaux wines. The best of the 2015 will be transformative and delicious to drink. All you need is patience, moderately deep pockets and the will to buy!

 

Margaux / Beautiful wines with gorgeous fruit density and fine sinuous tannins. Its is some years since Margaux shone so brightly. Ch Margaux, Ch Palmer, Ch Rauzan Segla, Ch Rauzan Gassies, Alter Ego de Cg Palmer. Ch Pavillon Rouge, Ch Malescot de St Exupery, Ch D’Angludet, Ch Kirwan, Ch Cantenac Brown and Ch Brand Cantenac are highlights.

 

St Julien / Fragrant and well concentrated with slinky textures and inky length. Ch Leoville Lascases, Ch Ducru Beaucaillou and Ch Leoville Barton were top performers. But I also liked Ch Beychevelle, Ch Branaire Ducru and Ch Lagrange, Croix de Beaucaillou and Ch Lalande Borie, both connected to Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, are beneficiaries of meticulous selection.

 

Pauillac / The very top estates made great wine. The First Growths all made very fine wines. There is a debate about which is best. I like Ch Mouton Rothschild the best and admired Ch Latour for its precision and potential for longevity. The latter won’t be released en-primeur so ist academic. Ch Lafite is excellent too. Ch Pontet Canet is outstanding, as you would expect from such an enlightened and eccentric estate.  I was also immensely impressed with Ch Batailley and Ch Lynch Bages. Ch Clerc Milon, Ch Grand Puy Lacoste, Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and its opposite neighbour Ch Pichon Longueville Baron.

 

St Estephe / Classic wines with aromatic complexity and muscular drive. A little more variable than other sub-regions, probably because of its exposure to heavy rains and Atlantic weather. Ch Montrose and Ch Cos’ d’Estournel made beautiful wines, by very careful selection of the crop. Their associate wines were very good too; La Dame de Montrose, Ch Tronquoy-Lalande and Pagodes de Cos.

 

Pessac Leognan & Graves / Powerful wines with density and strength. Both Ch La Mission Haut Brion and Ch Haut Brion are standouts with amazing concentration and vigour, accompanied by relatively high alcohols. The superb Ch Haut Bailly, Ch Smith Haut Lafitte, and Domaine de Chevalier are my personal favourites.

 

Pomerol / Wonderful fleshy wines with superb concentration and chocolaty textures. It is one of the most impressive Pomerol vintages of the last twenty years with "lots of shoulder and length." Vieux Chateau Certan and Ch Petrus were profound standouts. The list is long but Ch Latour-à-Pomerol, Ch La Fleur, Ch Lafleur Petrus, Ch Trontanoy, Ch Hosanna and Ch Bon Pasteur were also highlights.

 

St Emilion /A very strong year, many wines having superb fruit generosity, freshness and line. Ch Angelus, Ch Ausone, Ch Canon, Ch Cheval Blanc, Ch Figeac, Ch Trottevielle, and Ch Troplong Mondot are very top performers. Highlights also include Ch Beauséjour, Ch Canon La-Gaffelliere. Ch Gracia, Ch La Couspaude, Ch La Dominique, Ch Larmande, Ch Pavie Macquin, Quinault L'Enclos, Clos Fourtet, La Chapelle d’Ausone and Clos Cantenac. Ch Chantecaille Clauzel, lying like a shag on an encrusted diamond rock, is not particularly well known, but its story is remarkable and the wine worth buying for the conversation alone.

 

Sauternes Barsac /A very strong year. The wines possess beautiful fragrance, clarity, viscosity, richness and acid line. Ch Climens, Ch Coutet and Ch Guiraud are wonderful standouts. Ch de Rayne Vigneau, Ch Doisy Daene, Ch Doisy Vedrines. Clos Haut Peyraguey, Ch La Tour Blanche, Ch Rabaud Promis, Ch Rieussec and Suduiraut all produced fine examples too. The lesser known Ch Broustet, Ch Caillou, Ch de Myrat and Ch Suau were exemplary. Ch d’Yquem is of course impressive, but next door neighbour Ch Guiraud, offers a very similar quality and style.

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

13 tasting notes

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Written Notes

Bright lemon yellow, superb white flowers and fresh dry herbs nose, marvellous lift and freshness despite evident ripeness, really well-defined depth and certainly the finest expression of Semillon in dry Bordeaux.

  • 93p

Made up of 33% Sauvignon Blanc and 67% Semillon, the La Mission Haut-Brion 2015 Blanc has a slightly closed nose, offering peeks at lemon curd, white peach and yuzu notes with accents of musk perfume, garrigue, fresh hay and wet pebbles. Medium to full-bodied with a lovely textural element of phenolic grip and a racy acid line cutting through the intense stone fruit and savory layers, it finishes with great persistence.

  • 94p
2015 Haut Brion white showed as splendidly as LMHB and the only thing which put HB in the front of LMHB, was more intensity, more depth and longer finish. 96p.
  • 96p
Bright yellow with green hue. Slightly closed nose with pure fruit, aroma reminiscent of grapefruit-zest, ripe apricots and Mirabelle, tropical fruit in the background. Opulent character, excellent minerality with almost salty taste, yellow stone fruit flavour, hints of vanilla, convincing freshness and length.
  • 95p
Pale colour. Line, lemony herb garden aromas. More precision than above. Well concentrated fruit sweet wine with lemon glacé grapefruit flavours with some yeasty brioche notes, fine looseknit lacy textures ad long fresh acidity. Very good. Quite crunchy at the finish. 95 points
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Drinking temperature

9-11C

Other wines from this producer

La Chapelle de La Mission Haut Brion

La Mission Haut Brion

Highlights

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