The 75th anniversary of the acquisition of Chateau Haut-Brion by the US financier Clarence Dillon was celebrated last night at the Foreign Office’s historic Lancaster House within St James’ Palace.
The dinner was hosted by Prince Robert of Luxembourg, president of Domaines Clarence Dillon and great-grandson of Dillon, who bought the Pessac First Growth estate in 1935.
Also present were winemaker Jean-Philippe-Delmas, together with 75 guests described as ‘key figures from the worlds of art, fashion and design, mingled with leading financiers and members of the aristocracy’.
These included Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Lord and Lady Linley, rock legend Bryan Ferry, singer Sharleen Spiteri and PR guru Matthew Freud.
Some of Haut-Brion’s greatest vintages of the last 50 years, including the 2000, 1989 1966 and 1961, were poured. Also served were the 2004 and 1994 Haut-Brion Blanc.
The menu was designed and cooked by Philip Howard of London restaurant The Square.
This was the second in series of eight anniversary dinners prepared by some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs.
The first, on 27 May in Paris, was at the Academie Diplomatique Internationale, where Yannick Alleno, the three star chef of Le Meurice, was responsible for providing a menu to match a number of Haut-Brion vintages going back to the 1949.
The next dinner will be in New York in July at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Prince Robert’s grandfather, Douglas Dillon, was chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.
Dillon also built up the museum’s remarkable collection of Chinese art and gave his name to the Douglas Dillon Galleries. At this event, Daniel Boulud will prepare the menu.
The other cities in the Haut-Brion road-show include Moscow, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
David Linley, together with Prince Robert, has designed a series of 18 console tables to mark the 75th anniversary.
Each will contain a ‘case’ of eight bottles of Haut Brion’s greatest vintages produced over the eight decades of the family’s ownership.
Written by John Stimpfig