One of the oldest histories of vine growing in Bordeaux, the first mentions of wines made in the Haut Brion vineyards dates back to 1521 when the estate was known as Aubrion.
In 1525 Jeanne de Bellon married Jean de Pontac, and being from a wealthy family a dowry of extensive land was offered to the couple, by the bride's family.
By 1549 Jean de Pontac started the first construction on this land that later became Chateau Haut Brion.
On the death of Jean de Pontac the estate was inherited by his 4th son Arnaud II de Pontac, and after that his nephew Geoffroy inherited the property, followed by Geoffroy's son Arnoud III de Pontac, who managed to double the surface area of the vineyards and used his political influence to extend the fame of his wines.
The Chateau was the first in Bordeaux to produce age worthy wines, they also pioneer top off the barrels to reduce oxidation, and pump overs.
Mentions by Thomas Jefferson in 1787 about the uniqueness of this terroir just helped to increased the prestige of the wines produced by the estate.
It's also believed that Haut Brion was the first Chateau to bottle its own wine.
In 1855 Chateau Haut Brion was awarded First Growth status, the only First Growth not located in Medoc.
With the great depression came difficulties for the Chateau and in 1935 it was sold to Clarence Dillon, a New York investor and it remained in the Dillon family ever since. From the marriage of Clarence Dillon's granddaughter with Price Charles de Luxembourg, came their son, Prince Robert of Luxembourg, the current owner of the Chateau.
Among the many improvements established by the Dillon ownership was a major modernization and renovation of the Chateau, and the construction of a new vat room in 1991.
Located in Pessac Leognan the Chateau currently farms 51 hectares of vines of around 35 years of age, 48 of them planted with red varieties and 3 planted with white. The vineyards are grown in a diversity of soils such as quartz, clay, limestone, sand and gravel.
The vineyards have been managed without chemicals for a number of years and in 2018 the Chateau obtained the High Environmental Value (HVE) certification.
4 wines are produced by the Chateau, 2 grand vin red and white, and 2 second wines Le Clarence de Haut Brion (red), and La Clarte de Haut Brion (white) that is made from grapes grown in Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion.
It's important to note that the second wines were renamed from Plantiers Haut Brion to La Clarte Haut Brion, starting in 2008, and Bahans Haut Brion was renamed Le Clarence Haut Brion starting in 2007.
Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2016
The wines are fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, and aged for 18 months in 33% new french oak barrels.
The 2019 vintage is a blend of 51.3% Merlot, 33.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.1% Cabernet Franc, 2.6% Petit Verdot.