- Thursday 9 July 2009
Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 00 29 30
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Pessac-Léognan, 1er cru classé (red wine only), 48ha red/2.8ha white, gravel on sand & clay
Vineyards: Red: Merlot Noir 45%, Cabernet Sauvignon 44%, Cabernet Franc 10%, Petit Verdot 1%. White: Sémillon 53%, Sauvignon Blanc 47%,
Haut-Brion stands out not only for elevated 1er grand cru classé status but also because it's the only non-Médoc château ranked in the 1855 classification. It was founded - as Château Pontac - in 1525 by Bordeaux mayor Jean de Pontac. On marrying into the estate, the de Fumel family built an international reputation for the wine, but by the early 1800s, the estate was sliding into a more rocky phase of ownership, though the wine's quality never really faltered. Later, familiar problems - phylloxera, war, economic depression, plus somewhat erratic ownership - took a more serious toll, and it is since only 1935, when today's owners Domaine Clarence Dillon purchased the property, that the estate has progressively revived. Much credit too must go to the Delmas family who have acted as estate managers.