Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc 2016

Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc 2016

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Chateau Haut Brion may have the most the longest and storied history of any of the 5 Medoc 1st Growths. Grapes have been growing on the land since the 1st century AD. Although a Monastery was growing grapes at Haut Bion in 1426, the first official record of the estate was in 1521, it was referred to as Aubrion. A few years later, the some of the vineyards of Haut Brion was given to Jean de Pontac as a dowry when he married Jeanne de Bellon in 1525. He completed the estate when he purchased the mansion from his father-in-law in 1533. In 1549 he began constructing a new Chateau on the grounds. Over the years, Haut Brion has many mentions as being served to royalty throughout Europe. Joseph de Fumel inherited the land. After receiving Thomas Jefferson as a guest, the wines of Haut Brion also appeared on Presidents tables. Joseph de Fumel was guillotined and the property was divided. For the next 40 years, the estate passed through many hands until it was purchased in 1801 by Talleyrand, Prince of Benevento. He sold the estate after three years and the were many owners over the next 40 years until Joseph-Eugene Larrieu purchased it at auction in 1841. Larrieu re assembled the estate. The 1855 Classification ranked it as one of the top 5 wines. The reality of the situation is that it had the highest average price of all the wines. The Larrieu family held the estate until 1921. Once again a era of many bad owners ended in 1935 when Clarence Dillon purchased the property.

The name of the Chateau is derived from the Celtic word Briga meaning mound. This is evident since the vineyards are approximately 27 meters above the Bordeaux Norm. Château Haut-Brion devotes 48.35 hectares (119.5 acres) to red grape varieties, with a distribution of 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, and 2.87 ha (7.1 acres) to white grape varieties, distributed with 52.6% Sémillon and 47.4% Sauvignon Blanc.

A very small amount of white wine is produced under the Chateau Haut Brion name, a scant 650-850 cases.  In 2016, the blend was 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon.
Wine Advocate: 94
Wine Enthusiast: 97
This opulent, rich and generous wine has a fatness to it, which is happily contrasted by lemon acidity from the high proportion of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend. It is ripe and densely fruity, as well as richer and spicier than in some previous years.
James Suckling: 97
Layered with a round and rich texture and body. Full and flavorful. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character. Very long finish. Exotic and ripe. We will see which is better.