Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
Chateau La Mission Haut Brion—June 10th
We woke up at 8:30am to get ready and drive to Ch. La Mission Haut Brion. Before leaving, we bought some pastries like pain cheesecake, apricot with cheese, and chocolate bun. We always buy some pastries in the morning before we go to any chateau because there are so many good ones to try and because they are mild, so they will not interfere with our palates when we go tasting.
We had some difficulty getting to our destination, but it was well-worth the trouble. It rained some and we couldn’t get to the right place. First the car stopped in the middle of the road after Waze only led us to the wrong way. We could see it from afar but couldn’t find the entrance. Then we drove to Haut Brion, but there weren’t any people to help, then we were given directions from a lady on the intercom. Next we drove to the Dillon Property house and Alex was asked to go to the Ch. Mission and ring at the entrance. Finally, at 10:20am, we reached Ch. Haut Brion and began our tour. Barbara was our guide, who is from Germany. She married a Frenchman, and just got her citizenship last year. She greeted us warmly. She is very tall, nice, and well-spoken.
We watched the history of the family and the wines here. Interesting to know.
We first went to a room to watch a short video about the winery. Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion is a Grand Cru, according to the 1953 classification, but the winery has existed since 1533. The name “Haut-Brion” is a Gascon term that refers to the elevated terrain between two streams, Le Peugue and Le Serpent. It is in the Pessac-Leognan appellation in the region of Graves. It is now owned by the Dillon family.They have 48.35 hectares, and primarily plant Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot for the reds. Of the white wine grapes, they plant Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion.
She showed us a little chapel that was created in the 16th century. The grounds are in a traditional European style, which was accentuated by the rainy and cloudy weather. We then visited the aging room, the professional tasting room, and finally to our tasting room, the one open to the public.
Side note: Chateau Mission Haut Brion and Chateau Quintus are under one company: Francois even informed Barbara that we would be coming. Neither chateau sells their product at the winery, but they are generous, unlike other places.
Our tasting room was a bit smaller, but it was very cozy and comfortable. She let us try three wines: Ch Haut Brion 2007 Red, Ch. la Mission Haut Brion 2007 red, and last, but not least, a white wine by Ch. La Mission Haut Brion 2011, which was an excellent year and they only produce 500 cases, or 6000 bottles each year. Those three wines were amazing! The 2009 and 2012 vintages are exceptional. I really enjoyed the 2011.
We end the day by thanking each other. She also introduced a restaurant for us to go to for lunch, Le Bouef sur Place. Alex and I were so happy at this winery. First I was not so happy because it was so difficult to start our tour and because she didn’t explain very much about the chateau. She also really quickly sent us to the tasting room, but because those wines are exceptionally excellent, I have to forgive her. Barbara knew that the best part of this winery was tasting the wine. She was nice too.
Alex and I drove to the restaurant and we had a really good lunch. I had nice beef and Alex chose the kidney and liver of a cow. We had salmon tartare for our starter. After lunch we took some plates outside the restaurant to enjoy the rain. It was a really fun day.