Friday 21 August 2015

Exploring The Forgotten Side Of Bordeaux - Chapter X

"This is one of the world´s great dry white wines" (Stephen Brook: The Complete Bordeaux, 2012).

That will give you some expectations, right?
Since 2009 it is named La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, but the bottle for tonight is the more, for me anyway, well known Laville Haut-Brion. It has been in La Mission Haut-Brion´s ownership since 1931- and since 1983 it belongs to the Dillon group of estates, along with Haut-Brion.

The wine comes out of 3 ha, planted with 63% Semillon and 37% Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is whole-cluster pressed and then barrel fermented with natural yeasts. There is no malolactic fermentation. It is aged in 50% new wood for about 15 months.

Broadbent has of course tasted it and writes that it is "dry and light for Laville..., very attractive - for the short term". and that was in 1998. But when Broadbent writes "short term", it could mean 50 years...
Lets find out!

1993 Château Laville Haut-Brion
The nose is a bit slow out of the gate but soon it reveals some fascinating scents in the shape of wet lanolin, dried tangerines, ski wax, candied lemon peel, gravel and matchbox. A deep, refined and still vigorous nose. It evolves more and more in the glass. For the short term - baaah!
The taste is tight, focused and dry with notes of band aid, candied orange peel, gravel, oil cloth and talc powder. The finish is long, finely tuned and really aristocratic. A very good acidity. This is really good. A bad year? Again, the proof is in the bottle. This 93 gets
93p   (tasted 2015/08)


  1. Guran i vinkällaren21 August 2015 at 21:49

    For me, the lanolin and the gravel seems to be common notes (to these great wines). If U like it or not it´s about personal taste. Not for everyone... Did remember the Haut-Brion Blanc -93... No-body but me enjoyed it (several times)... "Strange, curious" was noted by others... "Thanks, I´ll drink the rest" (my reply). Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yes, it is a bit of aquired taste, and so far I'm not completely sold, except for bottles like this! :-)