Second wines of classified growths have sometimes a hard time to have a life of their own and to be recognized by the consumers as high-quality wines. That’s why the story of the second wine of the famed Château Haut-Brion is so intriguing.
For many years, the second wine of Château Haut-Brion was named after the former owner of the plot where the grapes going in the wine were grown, Bahans. Unfortunately such a name is difficult to remember and pronounce, even for a French.
Prince Robert of Luxembourg, President of Domaine Clarence Dillon and one of the owners of Château Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion, decided to change the name, the label and the bottle of the wine. The bottle has now the same shape as the one of Château haut-Brion as well as a similar engraving in the neck of the bottle. The label is a replica of the Haut-Brion label. The drastic change is in the name: le Clarence of Haut-Brion.
Why Clarence? Prince Robert’s great grandfather was Clarence Dillon, the American and francophile banker who bought Château Haut-Brion in 1935. The naming of the bottle is an homage to the man who also designed the original and elegant shape of the Haut-Brion bottle in 1958.
The wine in the bottle is – obviously – as high quality as before. The same care and love went into it. Wine lovers will be able to discover the new 2007 vintage by the end of 2009 – a few months before Domaine Clarence Dillon celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the acquisition of Château Haut-Brion by Clarence Dillon.