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Château Batailley

017

Address: 33250 Pauillac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 00 00 70

E-mail: domains@borie-manoux.fr

Website: www.batailley.com

The name Batailley is derived from the French word for battle which describes the fighting that took place here in the ‘Hundred Years War’ between French and English soldiers for the Latour fortress in the fifteenth century. Classed a fifth growth in 1855, today the estate belongs to the Castéja family who also run Château Lynch Moussas in Pauillac and the negociant firm Borie-Manoux. Château Batailley is a strong wine with lots of blackcurrant flavour and is normally priced at a reasonable level. Given this it is well known and popular in most markets. Usually it needs a few years in bottle to show its best. In the past Batailley was often described as old fashioned inasmuch as it was a traditionally styled Pauillac with lots of blackcurrant fruit but also plenty of chunky tannin. In the most recent vintages, however, Batailley seems to have stepped up a gear or two and there is extra finesse to the wines and greater roundness and ripeness to the tannins. Excellent wines have been made here in 2003, 2005, 2009 especially and in 2010. This is now an estate most definitely to watch but it also remains a wine which thankfully won’t break the bank.

Vineyard/Terroir: 57 hectares on a plateau of Médoc Garonne gravel planted with 70%  Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elévage: 60% new oak and 40% one year old oak.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Mid depth; dark core; bright blackcurrant fruit tones; graphite; good Cabernet tones on the palate; elegance; nice purity and harmony; nicely balanced; needs to infill in the middle a touch; supple tannins; attractive Batailley. Good length. [77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 48hl]. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. Drink 2024-2032. 90-92
  • 2014 Deep-ish; earthy purple at edge; cool, clean blackcurrant tones with some cassis; very attractive and composed; sweet ripe blackcurrant fruit on the palate which demonstrates excellent purity; textured with good mid-palate richness; this is very good Batailley; fine palate and shows the increasing class and sophistication at this property. Good length. Classy. [82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, yield 33hl/ha]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 91-93
  • 2013 Mid depth; purple edge; some cassis and blackcurrant aromas; cream; quite pure overall; nice attack with some polish and refinement; not pushed; little dry at end but the fruit appears to be there; acidity on the finish. Some length. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 86-88 [Second note] Mid depth; blackcurrants aromas; sense of elegance; cool fruit tones; blackcurrant fruit tones on the palate with some structure evident but there is texture to this Cabernet – lean but not hard; fruit is there though some austerity on the finish. Should fill out a little during elevage. [94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 33hl/ha 13.%]. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2017-2025. 86-88+
  • 2012 Mid depth; perfumed and forward aromatics; attractive blackcurrant notes; lifted and forward; medium bodied with blackcurrant fruit tones on the palate; soft and harmonious tannins; lacks a bit of depth but round and enjoyable. Drink 2016-2025. 88 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep; healthy looking; some chalk, wet rock and depth; chewy with sturdy fruit but tannins a little angular. 86-88 Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note – better] Deep colour; healthy at edge; deep nose; attractive and feels full; palate reasonably caressing; full and nicely balanced wine; flesh and fine tannin. Good effort; feels ripe and nicely balanced with chew on the finish. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Tasted UGC Tuesday, April 9, 2013. 88-90+
  • 2011 Mid depth; attractive fruit on the nose – blackcurrants, undergrowth; clean blackcurrant fruit on the palate; cassis tones; fruit evidently gently handled, tannins ripe but wine not extracted; medium bodied and harmonious. Good effort. Drink 2016- 2028. 89+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated looking, vibrant edge; cream and blackcurrants, cassis, feels ripe; cool blackcurrant note, some summer fruit pudding; clean; blackcurrants and earth; density here; depth on the palate and chew but tannin good and nicely done again. Nice finish with good acid. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGC. 89-91+
  • 2010 Mid depth; deep core; very attractive and forward aromatically; spices, pain grillé notes, blackcurrants; lovely Pauillac aromatics – this is spot on! Blackcurrant and earthy notes on the palate; sturdy with lots of fruits and grip; nice balance and harmony; lots of depth and length with nice acidity too. Another terrific effort from Batailley to rival ‘09. Drink 2016-2035. 94+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; glossy; blackcurrant, some cool and fresh tones; quite polished; fresh blackcurrants on the palate; cassis; quite a structure beneath; acid and material; grip. Overall quite positive and correct. Grippy yes, but good length too. 91+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep centre, legs; some smoke, cream and blackcurrant; feels pretty seductive on the nose; Cabernet on the palate, strong; some higher toned notes; acid and grip here too; depth plus richness. Good mid-palate density. Warm at the end. Grip and tannin. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot alc 13.5%] 90-92/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGCB [Second tasting] Deep colour; fresh blackcurrants, nice life, very attractive wine on the nose; some summer fruits; ripe and attractive; palate quite dense but some seductive perfume and then there is the solid core and the tannins. Ripeness here. 90-92/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGCB
  • 2009 Mid depth; deep at core; attractive pure blackcurrant aromatics, very composed with a certain restraint; very appealing blackcurrant flavours on the palate; supple but with concentration and finesse. Very pure and open. Excellent. Lots of finesse. Drink 2016-2030. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; depth; more opulent and polished than stable-mate Lynch-Moussas; blackcurrants, some graphite; cassis too; nice mid weight feel but this is really well done; not that far behind Pichon Lalande in its way; great palate, so much finesse here now; lots of fresh cabernet; grip and good structure; a joy. Very fine indeed. 93+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Deep purple red; fresh nose, very bright cassis nose, very flattering and perfumed; substantial and round; some pencils and minerals with graphite too; this is really good. Palate very harmonious on the palate; cassis, fragrance and blackcurrant. Great stuff. This is a very fine wine and very harmonious. Excellent length. Should be terrific value. 13.4 degrees but you don’t notice it. 92+/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Mid depth; nice development on the nose; Cabernet with some tobacco; some earth and lift; nice entry, some meat, savour and depth; some nice rose petal and blackcurrant tones on palate. Chew and grip at the end. Depth. Good effort. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’12
  • 2007 Mid depth; fraction short; weedy, leafy blackcurrant notes; feels quite light; light and lifted palate; not unattractive but an early maturing style; some oak; earthy blackcurrants on the palate; has come round in bottle. 87/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] 2007 Mid red; blackcurrants; some spice; chewy but clean fruit on palate and quite precise; tannic but pure; lacks mid palate richness but fresh. 86/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tastings.
  • 2006 Mid red, good colour; good strong nose of blackcurrants , some lead pencil/graphite, very clear and precise nose; fresh, also some layers here, bit of chocolate at the back; palate full and strong with blackcurrant fruit, structured with acid and tannin but all well integrated and not at all disjointed; very well balanced; some chew and extract here but everything in the right order. Good classical but also refined Pauillac. This would benefit from 5-10 years although pretty harmonious. 90/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2005 Deep black red; tight to rim; still pent up; blackcurrants, cream but tight; palate concentrated with intensity. This needs another ten years to bloom. Potentially very fine but currently backward. Ripe tannin. Score reflects potential.  90+/100 June ‘09
  • 2004 Mid red; cassis and blackcurrant on the nose; palate quite grippy, blackcurrant fruit but tannins a little dry and chunky. Will probably round out and develop complexity. Fraction short. 87/100 Apr ‘10
  • 2003 Deep red; dark at core; legs; cassis and sweet blackcurrants; ripe quality; also figs and prunes, very full; palate sweet entry, lots of extract and tannins but very soft and ripe and round; good core of fruit; fruit coated in ripe tannin. This will age extremely well. Some graphite. Good finish. Intense blackcurrant; warm and ripe. One of the best Batailley’s I’ve tasted [though now eclipsed by 2009]. Needs five years to increase complexity but will live for 20 years at least. 90+/100 Aug ‘09
  • 2002 Mid red/black; mature Pauillac, strong blackcurrants and earth; palate full and quite strong; dips a bit at end; now feels mature. 87+/100 March ‘10
  • 2001 Mid red; lovely mature notes; blackcurrants, lead pencils; mid weight and satisfying; a reliable performer year in and year out. Quite chunky tannins but bags of flavour. This doesn’t disappoint. 88/100 March ‘10
  • 1997 Dark; quite feral and earthy nose; good grip and guts on the palate but coarser than expected. Difficult year to obtain much character. 84/100 Dec ‘03
  • 1996 Deep red black, up to rim, feral, earthy tobacco nose with blackcurrant cassis; nicely balanced palate. Feels more elegant than the 1995 – more acid and less body but still good. Later opened up [decanted] – more liquorice, leather and tobacco and some lead pencil at the edge; this is fine Batailley with 5 years of improvement and ten years of life ahead of it I reckon. 89+/100  March’ 07
  • 1995 Red/black; wonderfully mature Pauillac which feels quite fine; cedar, blackcurrants and roast meats; palate has medium concentration and flavour – a medium weight fine wine with nice balancing acidity. Will age further but fully mature now. Fuller than the ’96. Excellent 90/100 Nov’ 09 [Earlier note] Deep black, colour up to edge; initially a little feral and farty but blew off to reveal tobacco and lifted notes; charcoal and beef – palate mature, leafy with some tannic elements – but a wine with good grip and body. Mid-weight – not a blockbuster. Good. 87/100
  • 1983 light red/brown at edge; warm mature nose; light but with some cigar, leather, together with undergrowth and mushrooms on nose; palate soft and mellow; tannins agglomerated; lacks concentration and intensity and hollow in the middle. Lacks stuffing. Typical ’83 characters. 84/100 Dec ‘99
  • 1982 Deep red – lightening at edge; wonderfully sweet soft wine now; open; beefy palate with roasted notes. Excellent. Another bottle was more rustic and coarsely hewn. Same scores. 90/100 May ‘06
  • 1971 Tea coloured; dusty old dry tannins nose; faint hint of blackcurrant fruit; structure still there with some fruit and punctuation at end with tannin; mellow and delicate; probably never a great wine, faded now. 80/100 Mar ‘02
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