2018 Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2018 Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

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2018 Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Description

The 2018 Haut-Bailly speaks with real authority and class. Deeply spiced notes lead into a core of red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, licorice, new leather, menthol and tobacco. Vivid and dramatic in bearing, the 2018 possesses striking resonance from start to finish. There is plenty of tannin as well, but it is pretty much buried by the sheer luxuriousness of the fruit, while the mid-palate and saline-infused finish show terrific freshness as well as purity. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous

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About this WINE

Chateau Haut-Bailly

Chateau Haut-Bailly

Château Haut-Bailly is a Graves Cru Classé estate that has really hit form in the last 5-7 years. Haut-Bailly was bought by the Sanders family in 1955 and was run by Jean Sanders until 1998 when Robert G. Wilmers, an American banker, purchased it. It is located in the commune of Léognan, which is usually more associated with white wine production.

Haut-Bailly has 28 hectares of vineyards which are very well sited on high, gravelly ground just east of Léognan village. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). It is matured in small oak barriques (50% new) for 15 months and is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Ch. Haut-Bailly makes small quantities of a rosé from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, preferring to use the single varietal to maintain freshness in the blend. The wine is fermented 1/3 in new oak barrels and 2/3 in stainless steel at 16°C.

Haut-Bailly is renowned for its smoothness and silkiness but, since the mid 1990s, the wines have better depth of fruit as well as more grip, concentration and body. They are now amongst the top echelons of Pessac-Léognan wines.

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Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Antonio Galloni 94-97
Wine Advocate96-98+/100
James Suckling97-98/100
Other97-100

Critic reviews

Antonio Galloni 94-97
The 2018 Haut-Bailly speaks with real authority and class. Deeply spiced notes lead into a core of red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, licorice, new leather, menthol and tobacco. Vivid and dramatic in bearing, the 2018 possesses striking resonance from start to finish. There is plenty of tannin as well, but it is pretty much buried by the sheer luxuriousness of the fruit, while the mid-palate and saline-infused finish show terrific freshness as well as purity. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous

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Wine Advocate96-98+/100
The 2018 Haut-Bailly is blended of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Grapes were harvested September 17 to October 9, and the wine has 14.4% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it opens slowly with profound notions of Black Forest cake, crme de cassis, roasted nuts and black olives, unfurling to reveal notions of menthol, crushed rocks, molten licorice and chargrilled meat plus a hint of lilacs. Full-bodied, rich and densely laden with layer upon layer of vibrant black fruits and mineral nuances, it has a solid backbone of firm, velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with compelling restraint and exciting energy.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - 23/04/2019 Read more
James Suckling97-98/100
Incredible depth of fruit to this with a center palate that shows superb character and texture. I love the hazelnut and coffee-bean undertones to the beautiful fruit, which shows great finesse. Full-bodied yet compact and tight, giving a sense of agility and flight to the wine. Extremely tight and polished tannins.
James Suckling

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Other97-100
A wine that's going to flirt with perfection, the 2018 Château Haut-Bailly is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, brought up in 60% new French oak. Hitting 14.5% alcohol, its deep purple color is followed by a fabulous bouquet of pure crème de cassis, crushed violets, white flowers, graphite, and damp earth. An incredibly powerful, opulent wine, it nevertheless has sensational purity as well as the freshness and elegance that's the hallmark of this terrific estate. It will drink well in just a few years yet keep for 20-25 years or more.
Jeb Dunnuck

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