The only premier cru claret from the south side of the city of Bordeaux (although it is now pretty much in the suburbs of the city), Chateau Haut-Brion has an illustrious pedigree well back into the 17th century. The wine has also long been well-known in America, partly owing to its being the favourite wine of the great slave-owning liberal, Mr Thomas Jefferson.
The production is mainly of red wine (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Frace) but the white wine (50%/50% Semillon/Sauvignon) is also renowned.
The red grand vin is in shorter supply than ever now, given the significant reduction in yields over recent decades, but fortuntely there is a reasonable quantity of older wine on the market and the wine ages excellently.
The white grand vin is now all but unaffordable due to its scarcity.
That leaves us normal mortals picking through old vintages looking for value, or drinking the second wine, once called Bahans Haut Brion but now called Le Clarence de Haut Brion. There’s also a second wine on the white side called La Clarte du Haut Brion Blanc.
In 1983 the owners of Chateau Haut-Brion, Domaine Clarence Dillon, re-acquired their long-time competitor Château La Mission Haut-Brion.
2000 was an excellent vintage in Pessac-Léognan
2000 was an excellent, long-lived vintage in Bordeaux