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Best of the Best 2013: International White Wines: Château Haut-Brion 2010 Blanc Pessac-Léognan

  • Brett Anderson

When Louis-Napoléon ordered the classification of the wines of Bordeaux in 1855 in preparation for the Exposition Universelle in Paris, the judges placed greater emphasis on the red wines of the region than on the whites. In fact, when classifying white wines, officials confined their attention almost exclusively to the appellations of Sauternes and Barsac. Château Haut-Brion—the only estate outside Médoc designated as a first growth among the reds—appears nowhere in the ranks of top white wines. Nevertheless, Château Haut-Brion 2010 Blanc Pessac-Léognan (www.haut-brion.com, $1,250), like earlier vintages, counts as one of the world’s greatest whites. Intensely vibrant, this blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon swathes its audaciously mineral structure in supple flavors of grapefruit, ripe cantaloupe, and clover honey.