Haut-Brion buys neighbouring property
Domaine Clarence Dillon, owner of first growth Château Haut-Brion, has bought neighbouring Graves property Domaine Allary Haut-Brion from the Allary family.
Formerly Domaine de la Passion Haut-Brion, Domaine Allary Haut-Brion, a 1.5-hectare parcel of vines bordering Haut-Brion, had been owned by the Allary family since 1919.
Prince Robert of Luxembourg, owner of Domaine Clarence Dillon, did not disclose the buying price, though the land was valued at around £900,000 in March 2008.
Having secured the land, he is considering replanting the parcels in the future, which are likely to be used in Haut-Brion’s second wine Bahans Haut-Brion.
“The sale went quietly; it was harmonious. Haut-Brion began taking over the vineyards last summer and they harvested the 2012. It was a natural course of events,” Daniel Allary told the Wine Spectator.
“We experimented making the wine ourselves for a few years, but it was such a small quantity,” he added.
With the help of renowned consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt, Daniel’s sister, Marie-Felicia Allary, made around 5,000 bottles a year of a red blend made from 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon with a retail price of £50-60.
The Allary vines were controlled by Haut-Brion under lease for much of the 20th century, with the Allary family being paid their rent in wine.
From 1954-1978, the wine was bottled as La Passion Haut-Brion.
New laws then forbade two château wines from being made in the same cellar unless they shared an owner, so from 1979 to 2007, Haut-Brion blended the wine into its second wine, Bahans Haut-Brion.
The Allary family regained control of the plots in 2006, but lost a legal battle to use the name La Passion Haut-Brion.
The first commercial release of Domaine Allary Haut-Brion was 2008. Owner Michel Allary died in 2010, and the family’s last vintage to be vinified was 2011.