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June 29, 2016

The Superb Second Wines of Haut Brion & La Mission Haut Brion 2015

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2015 En Primeur Expected Spring 2018 

The result of the referendum has left markets in turmoil, however, it is a good time to buy 2015 Bordeaux en primeur. The weak pound against the euro will make fine wine imports more expensive creating price inflation in the UK. UK merchants will not be able to replace stock sold ex-London at the FX rate of .78 euro to pound used during the en primeur campaign. It is a good time to secure stock which was bought before the FX move and therefore at the original London release price, once these are sold out, prices will naturally rise.

There were a number of noteworthy releases surrounding Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion, so are delighted to now highlight the superb second wines from these great estates. Throughout the campaign, the leading second wines have been hugely popular; providing high quality at much more accessible price points than their Grand Vins. For those who have already purchased these wines, this is your chance to secure another case or two and for those you who haven’t, don’t miss out this time around.

Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2015

Le Clarence is the second wine of Haut Brion, previously labelled as Bahans Haut Brion. The name was changed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Dillon families purchase of Chateau Haut Brion. Of all the First Growth second wines released in 2015, it is clear to see from the table below that Clarence de Haut Brion clearly offers the best value for money. At £890 per case of 12, it looks particularly attractive when compared with Lafite’s 88-91 point Carruades at £1,300. If you are looking for a wine that punches above its price and heralds from the same vineyards as the perennial favourite of the critics, Haut Brion, Clarence 2015 is your wine.

First Growth Second Wines 2015 WA JS Price
Le Clarence de Haut Brion 91-93 93-94 £890
Pavillon Rouge 92-94 95-96 £1,070
Petit Mouton 91-93 93-94 £1,150
Carruades Lafite 88-91 92-93 £1,300

La Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion 2015

La Chapelle is best described as the younger brother of La Mission Haut Brion. It is also produced in in the same vineyards as its Grand Vin, La Mission Haut Brion. In 2015, La Chapelle scored 91-93 points from Neal Martin and 94-95 points from James Suckling, making it the second highest scoring vintage to date. The 2010, which trades today above £700 is the only other vintage to have received 93 points from the Wine Advocate. As such, at £630 per case of 12 or £52.50 per bottle La Chapelle 2015 is a great buy. This is a wine that exhibits much of the pedigree of both La Mission and Haut Brion but at a fraction of the price.

La Clarte de Haut Brion Blanc 2015

La Clarte was a real stand out for us – it is the second white wine of Haut Brion and La Mission combined. Due to tiny production, it is often very difficult to come by making it somewhat of a rarity. The wine is produced on the same terroir as its Grand Vins, and interestingly in 2015 it is one of the only whites to be dominated by Semillon, most typically have a higher proportion of Sauvignon Blanc. Critics have praised both Haut Brion Blanc 2015 and La Mission Haut Brion Blanc 2015, awarding the wines 96-97 points and 97-98 points respectively. While some may favour one over the other, it is well known that these are the two great white wines of Bordeaux. As such, it is no surprise that the blend of these two highly acclaimed wines have produced a wine as superb as La Clarte. The most intriguing factor of all is that La Clarte is just 10% of the cost of its Grand Vins.

Bordeaux Blanc 2015 WA JS Price
La Clarte de Haut Brion Blanc 87-89 92-93 £630
Haut-Brion Blanc 94-96 96-97 £6,270
La Mission Haut Brion Blanc 92-94 97-98 £5,020

Very few ever get the chance to taste the white wines of Haut Brion and La Mission, as such at £630 per full case this presents a great opportunity to secure this rare wine at just a fraction of the price charged for the legendary Grand Vins.

Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2015
The 2015 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is a blend of 57% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 8 September and 5 October. Compared directly with the La Chapelle Mission Haut-Brion, I find that this does not quite possess the same delineation at the moment. This is broodier and more introspective in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, layers of dark berry fruit tinged with tobacco and cedar, gaining weight towards the finish that fans out with a sense of conviction. This should turn out to be an authoritative deuxième vin that will probably be consumed in its youth, but clearly possesses the substance to repay ageing. Those with wise heads will afford it 5-6 years in bottle. 91-93 Points, Neal Martin

La Chapelle de la Mission Haut Brion 2015
The 2015 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion is a blend of 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 9 September until 1 October, harvested early to preserve the freshness of the Merlot and taking time to pick the Cabernet at optimal ripeness. The bouquet is tightly wound at the moment, but precise, revealing blackcurrant, cranberry and hints of marmalade scents with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with quite sturdy tannin on the entry that exert a firm grip, but there is more than enough fruit to back that all up. Touches of cedar and tobacco surface towards the second half and there is a sustained, chalky note on the finish that ensures that this a great deuxième vin. 91-93 Points, Neal Martin

La Clarte de Haut-Brion Blanc 2015
The 2015 La Clarté de Haut-Brion is a blend of 27% Sauvignon Bland and 73% Semillon picked between August 28 and September 8. Lime and dried pineapple furnish the nose that is uncomplicated, but fresh and charming, with hints of honeysuckle developing in the glass. The palate is fresh and edgy on the entry with lime, green apple and chalky notes, moderate weight in the mouth with just a slightly clipped finish. Enjoy this over the next decade. 87-89 Points, Neal Martin

To buy this wine please click here or telephone +44 (0)203 195 8055. Offer subject to availability. 
En Primeur - Why buy through IG Wines:

  • We only work with the largest and best financed negociants in Bordeaux
  • We guarantee delivery of all wines purchased en primeur
  • We are owned one third by a large family office and very well-financed
  • Since our foundation in 2011 we have grown our client base to over 1,500 private clients in ten different countries

IG Wines offer a choice of bottling for en primeur orders:

  • Bottles (12x75cl or 6x75cl) – No Charge
  • Halves (12×37.5cl or 24×37.5cl) – £12.00 per case
  • Magnums (6x150cl or 3x150cl) – £7.00 per case
  • Double Magnums (3 x 300cl) – £50.00 per case
  • Imperials (1 x 600cl) – £25.00 each