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Château Haut-Bailly

040 - Copy

Address: 33850 Léognan

Telephone:  +33 (0)5 56 64 75 11



Château Haut-Bailly is a great estate that is now fabulously on the up, in terms of quality and in terms of price. This property was bought in 1998 by Robert Wilmers and much investment has been made. The vineyard is situated in a single bloc on sandy gravel soil. Second wine here is La Parde de Haut-Bailly. The wines are bold and pretty tannic in their youth. Of the recent vintages, 2009 is very strong, and 2010 is one of the most magnificent wines of the vintage.

Vineyard/Terroir: 28 hectares planted on sandy gravel with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.

Winemaking/Elévage: Aged in barrel, 50% of which are new each vintage.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep and glossy; colour tight to the rim; purple at edge; very pure Cabernet nose; clean; precise; some minerals; spices at the edge; very deep indeed; lovely wine; purity; texture but plenty of flesh here too; really excellent; open for HB at this stage; lots of elements; beautiful Cabernet and structured Merlot; outstanding quality; flesh here but considerable structure beneath; finishes correct with nice acid twist. Grip and structure at the end. Long. All adds up to a tremendous effort from Haut-Bailly. [Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Merlot 36%, Petit Verdot 4%, 50% new oak, 13.6% alc]. Tasted Haut-Bailly 7/4/16. Drink 2023-2040. 96-98+
  • 2014 Lovely deep colour; dark at centre; earthy purple at edge; very nice Cab; blackcurrant; purity; attractive and fresh; delicacy here; mineral tones; floral touch from the oak; nice entry; substance and matter but proportional; elegance; trace of oak and some wood to soak up a little; nice Cab though; chew and extract on the finish but there is nice acidity. Fresh. Vigorous. Energetic. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, yields 43hl/ha, picked September 24 to October 15, 50% new oak, 13% alc]. Drink 2023-2035. 92-94+
  • 2013 Deep colour; very attractive aromatics; almost seductive; full and genuine depth here; glossy; very pure palate – very nice Cabernet tones; clean and pure; very good purity infact; good concentration for the vintage. One of the red wines of the UGCB tasting April 2014. Excellent effort to my mind. [64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc]. 91-93
  • 2012 Mid depth; blackcurrant aromatics; nice and pure and clean; some wet rock notes; quite masculine style [compared with say Smith Haut Lafitte and Malartic Lagravière]; blackcurrant fruit tones on the palate with richness beneath; good structure here as usual and extract; some tannin [ripe] and bite which indicates freshness. Good wine. Drink 2018-2028. 92+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep colour; vibrant edge; lots of briary and blackcurrant fruit on the nose; sweet ripe fruit attack and then come the tannins; little chewy on the palate [it always seems to be in its youth]; very dense and clearly lots of matter here but slightly drying quality to the tannins. Usually sorts itself out later. Serious, chewy and tannic. Probably underrating this and look forward to seeing it again down the track. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. 90-93+ Tasted Wednesday April, 10, 2013 at UGC
  • 2011 Deep looking; clean, correct blackcurrant aromas; attractive and ripe; some earthy notes; feels polished; ripe blackcurrant tones on the palate; acid here beneath the flesh which gives some chew [along with the tannin] but overall very clean and correct. Mid-weight and reflects the vintage nicely. Needs a bit of time [as usual here] to blossom. The ferocious tannins noted during primeurs have softened in elevage. 2016-2026. 91+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth; purple edge; stalky Cabernet notes, purity and some stone fruit; little plum; creamy entry but then comes the tannin; dry and oak influenced palate though there is plenty of fruit here; quite grippy and chewy finish. Feels a bit puckering at present. Haut-Bailly always feels tannic en primeur to me so this will settle but doesn’t have the shout out loud fruit qualities of 2009 or 2010. 90-91+
  • 2010 Deep and saturated but still fresh looking; wonderful blackcurrant aromatics; terrific purity and great definition; layers and magnificent depth; some earthy undergrowth tones at the edge add further interest; incredibly bold palate; layers of fruit; big but polished and tannin [considerable] is ripe. This is long-term wine. Very nicely composed on the end. Magnificent Haut-Bailly. Drink 2018-2035. 98 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated core; nice freshness to the nose; some wet rock, chalk; earthy blackcurrant tones too; lots of density on the palate; oodles of blackcurrant fruit in a typically firm style; dryness here but also plenty of depth, structure and acid. This is a long-term prospect and extremely promising. Don’t touch it for ten years. 94+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and arterial, saturated colour; very ripe, strawberry and red fruit notes; lots of ripeness here, some stalks too; needs to settle a bit; plumy and earthy; ripe and sweet attack, and then the Haut-Bailly tannins – pretty dense but ripe tannins alongside waves of fruit. Freshness too – a strong and powerful wine even if feels a bit raw at present. Everything in spades here. 94-96+/100 [62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc 13.9% alc] Tasted 6 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated looking; cream and blackcurrant, ripe and lifted; deep and concentrated palate; mocha and chocolate tones too; this is dense and deep winemaking; much more settled and complete than when stated en primeur [as you’d expect]. Very deep, ripe but not overdone. Powerful stuff. 96+/100 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier] Deep and tight to rim; concentrated colour; quite deep fruit and intensity here; slightly dumb but sense of ripeness; opens up in the glass a little; quite polished palate but lots of extract here; tannins quite dry; chewy; lots of tannin. Long hall wine here. Tannic. Needs to settle, at present extracted and tannic. If settles 90-92?/100. Tasted 31st March 2010 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Deep at centre; earthy blackcurrants; some leaf, spices and chocolate; attractive with some complexity; spicy blackcurrant tones on the palate – captures the vintage nicely; good acid, in fact grippier and more obviously structured than Malartic-Lagraviere and Pape Clément. More traditional styled and longer term. 92+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid red, dark at core; deep nose, some chocolate but a bit brooding; palate soft and full, lush with lots and lots of extract, layers. Tannins too in abundance. Quite dry finish. Should come round but long haul here. Pretty bold and extracted style.  90+/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Deepish colour; very animally and lifted; almost sweet and peaty with a mineral fatness beneath; some sour notes at the edge of the palate and feels a bit mean. Hmm – disappointing effort on this tasting even in the context of the vintage. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier] Mid red; good density; creamy on the nose; attractive; palate mid-weight; layered and good depth with chocolate and earthy notes; attractive layered wine. Good. 86-88/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tastings. 
  • 2006 Tight to the rim; concentrated looking; quite open, plummy nose, deep, with real fruit here, some oak resin too, nutty edge; quite big and a little monolithic; palate big and fresh but also dry and extracted at the end; lots of fruit admittedly but lots of tannin too [true of the 2009 and 2008 also here]. So tannic. This is big and bold and there is a ton of fruit but a ton of tannin too. Dry tannins dominate the finish. Again time will tell here. 90-92?/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 2005 Deep and dark black at centre; earthy red at edge; vanilla; spices; tobacco and blackcurrant fruit; lots of depth; very strong and deep; rich and ripe components that are integrating well; strong entry; lots of supple fruit; blackcurrants; some to come; spices; very nicely balanced; harmony and length. Supple tannins. Very nicely done. Little chocolate on the finish. Great stuff! Drink 2015-2030. Tasted April 2015. 96+
  • 1982 Initially sweet raspberries and some fruits – later chunkier and rather chalky. Lacks complexity, bit dried out with chunky, old dusty tannin palate. 84/100 Oct ’06

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