In 1983, the Dillon family acquired Château La Mission Haut-Brion, a 29-hectare vineyard located in Talence. The property was renewed in 2007 with the creation of new cellars, a tasting room, a bottling and...
Located in the communes of Talence and Pessac, a few kilometers southwest of Bordeaux, Château La Mission Haut-Brion is part of the Pessac-Léognan appellation. Neighbor of Château Haut-Brion, it is also owned by the Dillon family since 1983. The wines are distinguished through the terroir and the choice of grape varieties, enjoying a worldwide reputation.
OWNERS: Prince Robert of Luxembourg
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Jean-Philippe Delmas
CELLAR MASTER : Florence Forgas
OENOLOGIST : Jean-Philippe Masclef
APPELLATION : Pessac Léognan
AREA OF VINEYARDS: 29.18 hectares (Red: 25.44, White: 3.74)
VINEYARD MANAGEMENT : Green harvest, thinning out
SOILS : Günzian gravel, sandy clay (subsoil)
AVERAGE AGE OF THE VINES : 42 years old
RED VARIETIES : Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Merlot (41%), Cabernet Franc (11%),
WHITE VARIETIES : Semillon (63%), Sauvignon Blanc (37%)
Château La Mission Haut-Brion was founded like its neighbour Château Haut-Brion in the 16th century by Arnaud De Lestonnac, a Bordeaux merchant. Coming from the Arregehuys parcel, he decided to do like his neighbour and create an exploitation entirely dedicated to the viticulture in order to produce exceptional wines.
In 1682, the castle was given to the Lazarists of Bordeaux and became the property of the Catholic Church. As soon as they arrived, they transformed the vineyard and improved the culture, the quality and the reputation of their wine. In 1698, they also built the chapel of Notre-Dame d'Aubrion, known as Dame de la Mission.
In 1790, the French Revolution hit Bordeaux and led to the confiscation of the estate. It was then sold at auction as "national property" to a Bordeaux industrialist: Martial Victor Vaillant. His daughter sold the property a few years later to Célestin Coudrin-Chiapella, the first American owner. With his son, they continued the embellishment of the property and developed the wine trade between Bordeaux and the United States. In 1862, the wine won a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in London.
The Woltner family then took over Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion and entered into a modern era. The chateau, still working with old practices, is modernized by Frederic Woltner and his two sons. He was the first to install enamelled steel tanks, allowing better control of the temperature during the fermentation process.
It was finally the Clarence Dillon Estate that bought the château when it was put up for sale in 1983. Inspired by the Lazarists, the family worked to improve the property through numerous renovations and constructions. Prince Robert du Luxembourg, Douglas Dillon's grandson, has been at the head of the property since 2008. He continues to make the wines of La Mission Haut-Brion sublime with the help of his teams.
Located in the communes of Talence and Pessac a few kilometers southwest of Bordeaux, Château La Mission Haut-Brion is part of the Pessac-Léognan appellation. The estate faces Château Haut-Brion and shares the same gravel terrace.
As for Haut-Brion, the vines are planted on a gravelly soil of small pebbles, of different varieties of quartz, contributing to the viticultural value of the soil. The vineyard also rests on a unique subsoil of clay, sand, limestone and falun. With a thickness varying from 20 centimeters to more than 3 meters, the gravel deposits form ridges with an excellent exposure, with slopes allowing a natural drainage reinforced by a hydrographic network of small rivers such as the Peugue or the Serpent, tributaries of the Garonne.
The vines also benefit from the same particular climate, with hot and dry summers and mild autumns. The vineyard is located at an altitude of 20 to 30 meters above the plain, escaping the fog of the lower Garonne valley as well as the sometimes heavy rains.
La Mission has long been one of the best and most consistent wines in terms of quality
Robert PARKER - Wine critic
The winemaking process is conducted by the same team as Chateau Haut-Brion since their purchase by Domaines Clarence Dillon. It requires as much attention to detail as to quality, reflecting perfectly their terroirs.
Everything starts with the harvest. Depending on their maturity, the grapes are harvested by hand. They are then sorted and destemmed to keep only the quintessence. Then the berries are vatted, the temperature rises and the fermentations start. They are controlled by a system of regulations which allows a very precise management of the temperatures. After about two weeks of fermentation, when the colors, tannins and aromatic principles have brought their potential, it is time to drain the tanks. The Grand Vins are selected and placed in new oak barrels for 20 to 24 months. This ageing will bring a soft oxidation and will participate to the character of the wine.
With the same gravelly soil as its neighbor Château Haut-Brion, the wines of La Mission Haut-Brion have the same quality of suppleness and mellowness with an original smoky aroma. On the other hand, they are quite different in the mouth, which is more mellow and deep in the primeur.
Complex and rich, the red Grand Vin Château La Mission Haut-Brion is at the level of the first classified great growths. The blend evolves according to the vintages, but it keeps its characteristics of great intensity through its complexity and the signature of its terroir. There is also the white Grand VinChâteau La Mission Haut-Brion which is quite rare with about 500 to 600 cases per year. It is a rich and voluptuous wine with a real length in mouth. It expresses all the characteristics of a great Graves wine.
The domain also produces a second wine declined in red, "La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion" with aromas of tobacco and black fruits with a charming touch of smoke from its youngest age. The second white wine, "La Clarté de Haut-Brion" is common to both the Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion properties. With a delicate complexity, we find fruity aromas conferring great freshness and finesse.