2018 La Clarte de Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan)

79.2% Semillon/20.8% Sauvignon Blanc. Harvest dates 27 August-5 September. A high proportion of Semillon was used for the Clarte this year as their Sauvignon was relatively low acid. Nevertheless, the wine shows a predominantly Sauvignon-esque character. Lime, grapefruit and nettle all define the bouquet and there`s a lovely roundness to the mid-palate that contrasts with the crisp finish. Very fine. (NT 12/04/19)
Pessac, Graves, Bordeaux FRANCE
Wine Style
Dominant Grape
Sauvignon Blanc
Closure Style
Bottle Size
Case Quantity
Wine Score
92 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com, April 2019 16.5 points, Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2019
90-92 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, robertparker.com, April 2019
89-91 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2019
87-89 points, Chris Kissack

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Media Reviews

Jane Anson

Most of the Sémillon went into the Clarté this year because the acidity dropped pretty quickly at the end of August. They have still captured a wonderfully bright and fresh feel though, with apricot richness running through the palate. It has the grip and sense of depth and concentration that`s so much a signature of the whites in the portfolio. It was always going to be tough to follow the brilliant 2017 here, but this is a succulent and enjoyable wine. 45hl/ha yields for the whites this year. 92 points

Julia Harding

20.8% Sauvignon Blanc, 79.2% Sémillon. Lots of Sémillon this year, partly because they needed Sauvignon’s freshness in the grand vin. Spicy, cedary oak on the nose and very ripe lemon and grapefruit, almost apricot. Deep and ripe in fruit up front, good freshness. Precise and yet quite rich on the palate initially, a little bit chewy, but loses intensity on the finish. Creamy, leesy texture to balance the fruit. 16.5 points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

The 2018 La Clarté de Haut-Brion is composed of 79.2% Sémillon and 20.8% Sauvignon Blanc, harvested August 27 to September 5. It comes bounding out of the glass with bold notions of warm pineapple, guava and peach juice plus hints of lanolin, honeysuckle, lime cordial and nutmeg. Medium to full-bodied with a lovely oily texture, it fills the mouth with exotic fruit, lifted by just enough freshness and culminating in a long, pineapple-laced finish. 90-92 points

Antonio Galloni

The 2018 La Clarté de Haut-Brion soft, creamy and inviting. Lemon confit, orchard fruit, dried herbs and flowers all meld together in the Clarté, the Sémillon based white that is essentially the second white wine of both La Mission Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion. Supple and easygoing with impeccable balance, the Clarté is a delicious white that will offer plenty of enjoyment right out of the gate. This is very nicely done. The blend is 79.2% Sémillon and 20.8% Sauvignon Blanc. 89-91 points

Chris Kissack

This blend differs from many of its peers in the appellation, as here Semillon leads the way, accounting for 79.2% of the total, with 20.8% Sauvignon Blanc. It has a fragrant, pretty and rather dusty character on the nose, with scents of white peach skin and orange pith. Even though the Sauvignon only accounts for one-fifth of the assemblage, it still comes through as a pine needle note, which perhaps reflects early picking, the harvest here running from August 27th until September 5th. There follows a lovely freshness on the palate, lively and polished, with plenty of Semillon-derived apricot stone and peach skin notes. Plush, bright, but certainly soft, with a phenolic grip around the edges, but as per the vintage, missing a little acidity at its heart. 87-89 points

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