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Bordeaux 2017: Château Haut-Bailly

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Château Haut-Bailly has some of the most enviable terroir in Bordeaux. Unfortunately even this was insufficient to spare the property from the devasting frosts of April 27 and 28, 2017. These frosts did damage to the lower plots on the property, but the old vine parcels were spared. Subsequently even flowering and an exceptionally dry summer, saved the day. In 2017 Château Haut-Bailly has produced red wines that have depth and freshness. The vintage is a little reminiscent of 2008 and 2014 but with softer tannins and more gentle extraction.

In the end the vintage was a precocious one with the Merlots harvested from September 13 and the Cabernet Sauvignon between 25-29 September. The following wines were tasted at the property during primeurs 2018. These 2017s are a tribute to the late Bob Wilmers who sadly passed in December of that year. Wilmers was a wine lover, financier and philanthropist, who as owner, presided over the revitalisation of Château Haut-Bailly over a twenty year period. His son Chris Wilmers now takes the lead and manages Haut-Bailly and Le Pape alongside Véronique Sanders.

Château Le Pape, Pessac-Léognan, 2017

Mid depth; nice core; earthy purple edge; plum, some sweet spices; attractive notes; little earth; quite soft and easy; not the richnest; but easy going; fresh finish. [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon – reflects the vineyard composition, 9ha, all under vine]. Tasted April 2018. Drink 2023-2030. 87-89+

La Parde Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, 2017

Nice depth; good core of fruit; ripe; nice plum and cherry tones; with that terroir aspect; attractive texture; [different style to Haut-Bailly]; some velvet here too; fresh on the finish; quite lightweight but nice fleetness of foot; acidity; lighter but nicely extracted; nicely balanced; elegant. 30% new oak for this and Le Pape. [65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Tasted April 2018. Drink 2023-2030. 87-89

Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, 2017

Deeper; opaque looking; lovely purity, beautiful cabernet nose; feels very strong; ripe Cabernet tones; spices; very poised; elegant wine; fine; nicely done; not a heavy weight. Good length. Fresh finish. Real emphasis on the purity and definition here. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc – the Petit Verdot & Cabernet Franc are fermented together. 13.2 pH 3.74 TA, 50% new oak]. Tasted April 2018. Drink 2024-2040. 93-94

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