Ch. La Tour- / Laville- / La Mission Haut-Brion Dinner

Date: 2nd September 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Amuse Bouche, 22/F, The Hennessy building, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
Price: $7500 per person

Do you like Ch. La Mission Haut-Brion? You absolutely cannot miss this…

 

Let me begin by quoting from Robert Parker…

 

La Tour-Haut-Brion was, until 1983, owned by the Woltner family, also the proprietors of La Mission-Haut-Brion. In 1983 these two proerties, plus the white wine-producing Woltner property - Laville–Haut-Brion – were sold to the American owners of Haut-Brion.

The wines of La Tour-Haut-Brion up to 1983 were vinified at La Mission-Haut-Brion and handled identically. After both wines were completely finished with the secondary (or malolactic) fermentation, a selection process commenced in which the most promising barrels were chosen for the wine of La Mission-Haut-Brion and the others reserved for La Tour-Haut-Brion. In vintages such as 1982 and 1975, the difference in quality between these two wines was negligible. To give La Tour-Haut-Brion a unique personality, the wine had more of the black/purple-colored, very tannic press wine added to it than La Mission-Haut-Brion. The result was a wine with more size, tannin, colour, and grip than even La Mission-Haut-Brion. The addition of press wine caused most vintages of La Tour-Haut-Brion to evolve slowly. In a few vintages – notably 1973 and 1976 – the wine turned out better than those of the more famous sibling.

Since the Dillon family and Jean Delmas assumed control of the winemaking, the style of La Tour-Haut-Brion has changed considerably. It is no longer the second wine of La Mission-Haut-Brion. Delmas has chosen to make La Tour-Haut-Brion in a lighter style from the property’s own vineyards, which are now planted with relatively young vines.”

Robert ParkerBordeaux: A Comprehensive Guide (1998 edition).

 

Last week a friend opened a bottle of the 2000 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion for lunch, and it was delicious. It’s clear that the Dillon/Delmas approach was making progress on the new style. However, 2005 was the last vintage under that label. Since then the vineyards have been incorporated into Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion, with the potential for blending into the grand vin, but with the wine currently going into the second wine, Chateau La Chapelle de la Mission-Haut-Brion. La Tour-Haut-Brion, as a label, is no more.

 

So this evening, we are really tasting history, especially when we consider the rarity of some of these bottles – many from the 20th century’s greatest vintages, like 1929, 1955 (in Graves), 1961, 1982, and so on.

 

Alongside this will be some of the great classics from Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion, and to round things out, some classics from the estate’s white wine label – Chateau Laville-Haut-Brion.

 

All this should offer some very pleasurable drinking, but also a real insight both into the white and red expression of Graves, both in the style made by the Woltners, and the transition to the Dillon/Delmas style. In other words, a great chance to learn something significant about this great estate.

 

1995 Chateau Laville-Haut-Brion

1985 Chateau Laville-Haut-Brion

1982 Chateau Laville-Haut-Brion

1979 Chateau Laville-Haut-Brion

 

1989 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion

1989 Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion (RP100)

1982 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion (RP99)

1982 Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion (RP100)

 

1975 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion (RP96)

1967 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion

1961 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion (RP95)

1955 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion (RP94)

1929 Chateau La Tour-Haut-Brion (Graham Lyon’s cellar)

 

1964 Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion

1950 Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion (RP95)

 

All this learning, fine drinking, and of course the superb service and food at Amuse Bouche. All in all – with your fine company – a very pleasant evening for sure.

WINES TASTED