"I'm going to take a sip, because that's what inspires me to talk about it," said Prince Robert de Luxembourg early in his presentation of the Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2009 (96 points, $885). "It always stops me in my tracks, which is what it's meant to do."
The president of Domaine Clarence Dillon, which owns neighboring Châteaus Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion, de Luxembourg is the fourth generation of the Dillon family to manage a first-growth Bordeaux. He spoke about his family's history and focus—along with three generations of winemakers from the Delmas family—on producing not just good, but great wines.
The prince shared a story about how someone came up to him at the Thursday Grand Tasting and said he was a fan of the wines, but added, "I want to tell you, this wine was not made by you, it was made by God."
"I totally agree!" de Luxembourg told the audience. "Whatever your beliefs or spirituality, what we aim for in these wines is something that reaches the ethereal."
De Luxembourg noted that when his family purchased La Mission in 1983, they inherited extraordinary terroir; they have since replanted the vineyards and renovated the cellar. He called 2009 "one of those vintages when everything goes right." La Mission showed its typically velvety profile, in contrast to the Haut-Brion, which he said is typically more silky.
Since 2011, the Dillon family has acquired two properties in the Bordeaux appellation of St.-Emilion—Châteaus Quintus and L'Arrosée. "What's the purpose?" De Luxembourg exclaimed, "To build the next first-growth."
Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2009 (96 points, $885)
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