Name investigation in Pessac-Léognan: all wines with Haut-Brion as part of their names

I don’t think I’m alone in being confused by the many different wines from the Bordeaux appellation Pessac-Léognan that have Haut-Brion as part of their name. Some of these are connected to Château Haut-Brion itself or are produced by the same owner, and some are neighbours, but some are neither. In addition, there have been a number of name changes in a short period of time, vintages 2006-2009, when the owners of Château Haut-Brions, the Dillon family, retired two château names (Laville Haut-Brion and La Tour Haut-Brion) and changed the names of two of their second wines.

Haut Brion-karta ver 20130609

Map over Haut-Brion and its neigbours in Pessac. The borders of “absorbed” properties are shown with dashed lines and their names are shown in smaller text. The borders of La Tour Haut-Brion and Laville Haut-Brion are uncertain. Image background from Google Maps.

Here is an attempt att listing them all. Wines that are no longer produced under the name in question are shown in italics, and the second wines are listed indented under the first wines.

Château Haut-Brion – The original that has been around since the 16th century, since the vineyard land and the château of the time were united under one owner in 1533. Known as Ho Bryan, Hobriono and so on in the 17th century and qualified as a 1er grand cru classé in 1855. The red wine is also a cru classe in the Graves classification. Produced in red and white. Web site

  • Le Clarence de Haut-Brion – The red second wine of Haut-Brion, this name has been used since the 2007 vintage. Named after the previous owner Clarence Dillon.
  • Bahans Haut-Brion – The former name of the red second wine of Haut-Brion, used until the 2006 vintage.
  • La Clarté de Haut-Brion – The white second wine of both Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion, this name has been used since the 2009 vintage.
  • Les Plantiers du Haut-Brion – The former name of the white second wine of both Haut-Brion and Laville Haut-Brion, used until the 2008 vintage.

Château La Mission Haut-Brion – neighbouring property that is also classified grand cru. The same owner as Haut-Brion since 1983. Cru classé in the Graves classification, also for white due to the classification of Laville. Produced in red and since the 2009 vintage also in white. Website

  • La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion – The red second wine of La Mission Haut-Brion, since the 2006 vintage also produced from the vineyards that used to produce La Tour Haut-Brion.
  • see also La Clarté de Haut-Brion under Château Haut-Brion.

Château Laville Haut-Brion – former white wine from the neighbouring property of La Mission Haut-Brion, and owned together with that property since 1931. Produced under this name from 1934 until the 2008 vintage, and is instead called Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc from the 2009 vintage. Was a cru classé in the Graves classification.

  • see also Les Plantiers du Haut-Brion under Château Haut-Brion.

Château La Tour Haut-Brion – former red wine produced until the 2005 vintage. Same owner as Haut-Brion from 1983. Was a cru classé in the Graves classification. From the 2006 vintage, the vineyards have instead been used for La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion. Under much of the 20th century, La Tour was treated as the second wine of La Mission Haut-Brion, this must reasonably have been before La Chapelle existed.

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion – neighbouring property with a different owner, since 2010 held by Group Pichet. Only red wine. The unusual second wine is called Le Clos des Carmes, so no “Haut-Brion” in that name. Web site

Domaine Allary Haut-Brion – neighbouring property recently (2012) taken over by the owner of Haut-Brion. Only produced under this name in the vintages 2008-2011. 1954-1978 the wine was called La Passion Haut-Brion. In the early days of the ownership of the Allary family, which started in 1918, the wine was called Haut-Brion La Passion, and in the first years of the 20th century the property was called Château Loup-Blanc Haut-Brion. It was under lease by Haut-Brion for most of the 20th century; 1979-2007 the vineyards were used for the second wine Bahans Haut-Brion, and probably the grapes will now end up in Le Clarence de Haut-Brion. Article in Wine Spectator about the purchase, article in Decanter about the purchase, article in Decanter from 2010 about La Passion Haut-Brion.

La Passion Haut-Brion – produced 1954-1978, see Domaine Allary Haut-Brion.

Château Loup-Blanc Haut-Brion – existed until the early 20th century, see Domaine Allary Haut-Brion.

Château Larrivet Haut-Brion – in difference from rhe rest not a nighbour to Haut-Brion itself and not located in Pessac, but instead in Léognan approx 9 km away. Different owner. Produced in red and white. Web site

  • Les Demoiselles de Larrivet Haut-Brion – second wine of Château Larrivet Haut-Brion. Produced in red and white.
  • Les Hauts de Larrivet Haut-Brion – also a second wine of Château Larrivet Haut-Brion, but only marketed by some supermarkets. (Uncertain if it is the same wine as Les Demoiselles, or different batches.) Produced in red and white.

Additions and corrections to this least are welcome!

Sources

  • Information booklets on Château Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion (latest available versions as of 2013)
  • Producer web sites
  • Online news and articles in Decanter and Wine Spectator

Swedish version of this post here.

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