2022 Château Haut-Batailley, Pauillac, Bordeaux
The 2022 Haut-Batailley is matured in 65% new oak for a planned 16 months. It has a very intense and almost untamed bouquet that explodes from the glass, and only after five or ten minutes does it begin to show some restraint.
The palate is medium-bodied with grippy, fresh and multi-layered tannins, unlike the Mouton-Rothschild I tasted a couple of hours earlier. With a satin-textured finish, this will need a decade in the cellar and some taming during élevage. Like a young tiger at the moment. It has 14.2% alcohol.
Drink 2033 - 2070
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Haut-Batailley is a potent, brooding wine. Black cherry, gravel, cured meat, spice and leather infuse the 2022 with tons of mineral and savoury intensity, backed by a formidable spine of tannin that gives the wine shape and vertical thrust. I imagine the 2022 will need the better part of a decade to come into its own. Tasted two times.
Drink 2030 - 2052
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Haut-Batailley, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot is deep garnet-purple in colour. It gallops out with bold notions of warm cassis, blackberry pie, and black raspberries, followed by hints of clove oil, tilled soil, and lilacs.
The medium to full-bodied palate has a rock-solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness to support the taut, muscular fruit, finishing long and minerally. pH 3.73, TPI 92.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Sculpted plum and raspbery puree fruits, fresh lift through the palte, this is a lovely wine that has intense liquorice and bilberry fruit, a little austere in its tannic structure on the finish, more so than in recent vintages at this sculpted fruit-forward Pauillac, but there is great spice here, and has the phenolic richness and density of the year. 3.73ph, 65% new oak.
Drink 2028 - 2044
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot. Cask sample.
Fragrant Cabernet nose. Juicy on the palate with plentiful but polished tannins. Builds to a long, persistent finish. Elegance and power combined.
Drink 2030 - 2045
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2023)
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the 2022 Haut-Batailley offers up aromas of sweet berries and plums mingled with liquorice and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, firm and structured, it's a serious, rather muscular, extracted wine that begins to nod toward its stablemate Lynch Bages in style.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
Classy and very focused with blackberry and blackcurrant character. The tannins nicely melt into the wine with finesse and weightlessness. Elegant. 70% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Château Haut-Batailley is much more structured and darker than the Verso, offering classic Pauillac cassis, currant, tobacco leaf, melted chocolate, and espresso nuances, with an almost iron-like hint that emerges with time in the glass. Full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful, it's nevertheless balanced and textured. It's a brilliant wine, if not the finest vintage I've tasted from this château.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
In the spring of 2017, the Cazes family of Ch. Lynch-Bages, acquired the Château Haut-Batailley estate from the Brest-Borie family, who had owned it since the 1930s. The fifth-growth property has approximately 22 hectares of vines, which are – on average – 35 years old.
Located in the very south of the Pauillac appellation, the property shares a similar climate to that enjoyed by the Médoc: maritime, with the Gironde estuary and the Bay of Biscay combining to act as a climate regulator and the coastal pine forests sheltering the vines from the westerly and north-westerly winds. Its near neighbours include Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Pichon Lalande and Ch. Latour.
The vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 61%; Merlot 36%; Petit Verdot 3%) lie on deep gravel beds over limestone. It is classified as a 5ème cru classé.
Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.
For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.
Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.
Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.
Cabernet 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.