Château Haut-Brion releases ‘one of best value wines’ on the market
From the Clarence Dillon stable came a slew of releases last week, including its two prestigious white wines, Château Haut-Brion Blanc and Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc which Liv-ex called “one of the best value wines on the market”.
Leading the whites was Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2021, released at €600 per bottle ex-négociant, unchanged from 2020’s opening price, and offered by the international trade for £7,320 per case of 12. Bearing in mind that the white wine production for Clarence Dillon wines fell by between 20-50% this year, this price makes it one of the one of the best value wines on the market (for those who can secure an allocation) according to Liv-Ex: its’ Fair Value methodology noted a 18% discount to the price implied or around 14% below the 2014 vintage which received the same score.
Meanwhile the 2021 vintage scored very well with the critics – Neal Martin called it “showstopping” and gave it 96-98 points, the same as our Bordeaux correspondent Colin Hay who deemed it “utterly fabulous… beautiful and supremely harmonious, elegant and complete”.
Meanwhile La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc 2021 was released at €480 per bottle ex-négociant, or £5,820 per case of 12, by the international trade. Despite scoring 95-97 points from Neal Martin, Liv-ex argued that the 2012, 2018 and 2019 vintages offer better value.
In terms of the reds, Château Haut-Brion 2021, a “ sumptuous, supremely elegant and delightfully restrained” wine was also released on Thursday, at €420 per bottle ex-négociant, down 2.8% from 2020’s opening price (€432). Colin Hay noted its’ “the crunchy fresh fruit of this cooler summer vintage”, awarding it 95-97+ points.
The second wine of Haut-Brion, Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2021 at €110 per bottle ex-négociant, down 8.3% from 2020’s opening price (€120). Colin Hay noted that while “less expressive aromatically than La Chapelle de la Mission”, the cool summer style of the vintage tempered its opulence. Score were more conservative, with Hay giving its 91-93 points, Neal Martin 90-92.
Similarly down from last year was La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion 2021 was released at €55 per bottle ex-négociant, compared to 2020’s opening price of €60. Colin Hay awarded this 90-92, noting that a slight harshness to the grain of the tannins as the acidity builds and an “elegance and finesse of the attack [being] somewhat tempered on the finish”.
Meanwhile, the La Mission Haut-Brion 2021, “excellent in all its classy austerity”, was released at €225 per bottle ex-négociant, down 10.7% from 2020’s opening price (€252). Production of the grand vins down by around 20%, Colin Hay notes, but he noted that, along with the Haut-Brion itself, La Mission Haut-Brion was “exceptional in the context of the vintage”, awarding it 94-96 points.
Finally, from St Emilion, Clarence Domaine’s Château Quintus 2021 was released at €72 per bottle ex-négociant, down 7.7% from 2020’s opening price (€78), and offered by the international trade for £888 per case of 12. Although Colin Hay noted that the oak would need time to incorporate, he noted “good potential”, awarding it 91-93 points, below the 92-94 of William Kelley of The Wine Advocate, or Antoni Galloni, who called it “the most elegant wine I have tasted here, by a wide measure”. James Suckling was a bit more generous at 94-95 points. However, Liv-ex pointed out that the 2019 and 2014 vintages – both scoring 93 points – were available for less.
See here for db’s en primeur vintage report, with appellation-by-appellation reviews on Margaux, St Julien, Pessac-Leognan & Graves, St Estephe & Haut-Medoc, Pauillac, Pomerol, St Emilion and Sauternes.