2013 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1283635 93-96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, pale yellow-gold. Subtly complex aromas of white stone fruits, lime, nut oil, nutmeg, menthol and bitter grapefruit. A huge, deep wine with laser-like acidity lifting the highly concentrated tropical fruit, white peach, spice and herb flavors. As youthfully chewy, thick and palate-staining as this is, it's also wonderfully light on its feet, showing uncommon class. One of the ten best Bordeaux wines of the year. (ID)  (5/2014)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Still tightly coiled, but the core should unfurl beautifully, revealing a panoply of intense and vivid white ginger, macadamia nut, yellow apple, wet straw and green almond notes. The long, citrus oil—accented finish has great tension. Destined for a long life. (JM, Web-2014)

95 points James Suckling

 A pure and steely white with sliced lemon, apple, pear and mineral aromas and flavors. Full body, bright acidity and a clean and lively finish. A real beauty. Hot stones and peach stone. Stylish and intriguing white. Drink or hold.  (2/2016)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 This wine is rich while at the same time having a stalky character that gives smokiness, texture and acidity. These combine with black-currant flavors that finish the wine with great freshness. It's a light vintage for this estate, fruity and certainly for the medium-term. Drink from 2020. The estate has been in the Dillon family since 1985. (RV)  (3/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 La Mission Haut Brion Blanc, a blend of 24% Sauvignon Blanc and 76% Semillon, had a surprisingly backward, stoic bouquet that frankly refused to come out to play when I tasted it at the château. The palate is much better and more representative, very well balanced and powerful, with notes of grapefruit and honeysuckle, quite spicy towards the finish, as if making up for the reticence on the nose. This is a La Mission Haut Brion Blanc that I suspect will grow up to be outgoing and maybe even fiery, but it will require several years in bottle to settle down. (RP)  (10/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 76% Sémillon, 24% Sauvignon Blanc. Toasty, gentle lemon fruit. Light creamy texture, and quite a pithy, almost chewy finish. Very delicate, but the flavours are fully formed. (RH)  (4/2014)

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Varietal:

Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.