2020 Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2020 Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Product: 20208006996
Prices start from £576.00 per case Buying options
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2020 Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 52%, Merlot 42%, Cabernet Franc 3%, Petit Verdot 3%

There is a sureness and composure about Haut-Bailly in 2020. The challenges of the year seem to have been absorbed by the château’s special terroir. While there is certainly the vintage’s hallmark volume and intensity, there is also grace and playfulness; the tannins are beautifully folded into the wine. The precision of the forest fruit and loganberry notes stands out, which also impart a juiciness to the overall impression. The finish is savoury and complex.

Drink 2027-2045

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Case format
Availability
Price per case
6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 282 cases £576.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability

Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-97/100
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
Wine Advocate96-98+/100
Jancis Robinson MW17+/20
James Suckling99-100/100
Jeb Dunnuck96-98+/100
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Jane Anson96/100
Rich in texture and colour, this has clear layers and complexity, a wine that you want to take your time with, slow down and enjoy. One that will take its time to age also. This has a precision and a clarity to the aromatics, and a gentle buzz of minerality that gives a physical reaction in the mouth. Less exuberant than the 2018 or 2019, making this a vintage that suits the style of Haut-Bailly. A slight austerity to the tannins on the finish gives a blueberry redcurrant edge. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend (now around eight years old), usually co-fermented with the Cabernet Sauvignon (sometimes with Cabernet Franc). IPT similar to 2016, 2010, 2005, but with a softness that comes from extremely ripe tannins. Strong potential for upscoring when it bottle.

Drink from 2030 to 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-97/100
Deep, rich and explosive, the 2020 Haut-Bailly is magnificent from the very first taste. Dark fruit, chocolate, licorice and spice give the 2020 a level of unctuousness that is absolutely thrilling. Readers should be patient, as the 2020 is going to need time to come around. Yields are down 25% from 2019, and that richness comes through loud and clear.

Drink from 2032 to 2060

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
The 2020 Haut-Bailly was picked September 9–25 in what the estate has called the 'year of reinvention.' Having left my sample to open for 30 minutes and then assessed it over the following three hours, I found that it has a mercurial nose of gorgeous blackberry, briar, white pepper, incense and hints of blood orange. It gains intensity and becomes more floral with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but firm tannins that provide backbone. There is plenty of black fruit laced with white pepper and clove. Perhaps less rich on the finish compared to the last two vintages – a virtue as far as I am concerned, as it allows more terroir to show through. This is an impressive Haut-Bailly to coincide with their new winery, which I hope to visit very soon.

Drink from 2030 to 2065

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate96-98+/100
A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Haut-Bailly was harvested from the 9th to 25th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.3%. Deep purple-black in color, it prances out of the glass with naturally beautiful notions of fresh black cherries, violets, mulberries and boysenberries, giving way to hints of redcurrant jelly, star anise, tilled soil and menthol. The medium to full-bodied palate is delicately crafted with velvety/grainy tannins and fantastic freshness framing the perfumed red and black berry layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note.

Drink 2025 - 2050

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW17+/20
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Powerful, deep-coloured wine with a considerable tannic core. Mellow fruit provides a suave texture but the pixelated tannins are still palpable. Intense, brooding with lots of extract, the finish warm, the oak just present. Needs time to knit.

Drink 2028 - 2045

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling99-100/100
This has incredible power and drive with blackberry, black olive and graphite. It’s full-bodied, yet dynamic and agile, with so much polished and muscular tannin. Yet, it remains in harmony and balance. So much character. The head of the chateau calls it diabolical beauty. 25% less production than the 2019. 52% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck96-98+/100
A legendary Haut-Bailly in the making, the 2020 sports a dense purple color to go with powerful notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, scorched earth, and graphite. Reminding me of the 2010, it takes plenty of air to show at its best yet is full-bodied, has a seamless texture, massive of ultra-fine tannins, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's one of the most structured, powerful Haut-Bailly I've ever tasted, yet it still has the classic elegance, nuance, and length of this terrific terroir. It will need 5-7 years (or more) of bottle age but will have 50 years of overall longevity. The 2020 is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 3% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Closed, minerally to smell, with a great finesse; full, supple yet fresh, and very fine in tannin, an effortlessly beautiful balance; long and graceful, very Haut-Bailly in style, full of soft, sweet, freshly ripe fruit, long and subtle across the palate, and with wonderful fragrant length. A gloriously complete wine of great class. Power and delicacy, great beauty in a particularly discreet style. First-growth quality and refinement, an illuminating tribute to the splendid new chai. Likely to be accessible early, but offer decades of pleasure.

Drink 2028 - 2050

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

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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