2023 Château Batailley, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2023 Château Batailley, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20238003227
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2023 Château Batailley, Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Blend: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon; 19% Merlot; 2% Petit Verdot.

There are further refinements at Batailley; the new third wine has knock-on improvements for the grand vin. The 2023 has just as much weight as the hugely popular 2022 but feels more restrained, with an accent on fresh blackcurrant and smooth, deep tannins. On the finish the wine shows its class, adding a layer of greater focus. This is a fine vintage, yet paradoxically seems easy to drink. This has lots of pleasure in store.

Drink 2029 - 2050

Our score: 17/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100

You want to know what Pauillac tastes like, roll up and enjoy this vintage of Batailley. Squid ink, slate, cassis, bilberry, slate, crayon, black chocolate, plenty of tannic grip, a smudge of grilled cedar oak and a squeeze of mint, it's all here. 57% new oak for ageing. Harvest September 12 through to October 5, Axel Marchal consultant, Philippe and Frederic Castéja owners.

Drink 2032 - 2048

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100

The 2023 Batailley was picked September 12 to October 5 at around 49hL/ha, matured in 57% new oak. It has an elegant and understated bouquet compared to the previous vintage, as with all châteaux, well-defined, with a light estuarine influence emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. It’s very bright and fresh and there’s plenty of fruit here. A deft, harmonious finish lingers in the mouth. This is an excellent Batailley.

Drink 2028 - 2052

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous90-93/100

The 2023 Batailley is an ample, large-scaled Pauillac. Even so, I find it quite restrained and not particularly expressive at this stage. There's good vibrancy to the red-toned fruit. Hopefully élevage will do the trick here.

Drink 2028 - 2048

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW93-95/100

The 2023 Batailley is deep garnet-purple in color. It needs some swirling to coax out notes of blackcurrant jelly, plum preserves, and raspberry leaves followed by hints of rosebud tea, fertile loam, iron ore, and tree bark. The medium-bodied palate is tight-knit and refreshing, with firm fine-grained tannins and beautiful tension supporting the energetic black berry flavors, finishing long and savory.

The blend is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot.

Drink 2028 - 2042

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (April 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20

Cask sample. Subdued nose but clean and precise. Medium-bodied with dry extract. Tannins well worked. Pauillac punch and reserve.

Drink 2030 - 2042

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2024)

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James Suckling95-96/100

79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.

Beautiful fruit with currants and blackberries, as well as notes of walnuts and chocolate. So much blackberry fruit here. Aromatic. Medium- to full-bodied with very fine tannins on the deep and structured palate. Racy and long finish.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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An exceptional Batailley this year. Cool blue fruits and a graphite nose, salinity and minerality coming from the aromatics. Energy, focus and precision here - it’s straight and linear, the plumpness has gone into Lion but this is focused and direct, really streamlined with precise edges to the tannins and cool blue and bramble hedgerow fruit. It’s quite a serious take, but it has a juicy, almost sweet core of blackcurrant and cherry, with a slate finish. Well constructed, precise, finessed - totally classic. You cannot go wrong with this and for the price it’s insanely good.

Drink 2028 - 2050

Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck89-91/100

Deep ruby/plum-hued, the 2023 Château Batailley offers a spicy, red and black-fruited, lead pencil-driven perfume to go with medium-bodied richness and depth on the palate. It's nicely balanced, has some of the firmer tannins of the vintage, and has good length. It should be an outstanding wine when all is said and done.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Château Batailley

Château Batailley

Château Batailley is one of the oldest estates in Bordeaux, dating from the 15th century. A 5ème Cru Classé, it is known for producing wines of consistently high quality and excellent value in a classic Pauillac style.

The vineyard sits on a plateau at the southern end of Pauillac, on the site of a battle between the French and the English during the Hundred Years War – hence the name ‘Batailley’. The estate has been owned by the Borie family since 1932, and is currently in the hands of family-members Denise and Emile Castèja of the famous negociants Borie-Manoux, which also owns Ch. Lynch-Moussas, Ch. Trotte Vieille and Domaine de l’Église. Ch. Batailley, considered to be the jewel in the family crown, is now managed by son Philippe Castèja and grandson Frédéric.

For years, Ch. Batailley has enjoyed a reputation as a reliable, well-priced Pauillac. Over the last 15-20 years, however, there has been a much greater emphasis on the quality of the fruit. The result has been wines of decidedly more finesse – still in the classic Pauillac style, and still one of the best value Cru Classé at any level.

Since 2014, Batailley has produced a second wine, Lions de Batailley, using grapes from some of the younger vines; it’s lighter in style but retains the signature profile of the Grand Vin.

The 57 hectares of vineyards are planted in classic Pauillac proportions: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The deep gravel beds are ideal for the later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon; the clay and limestone subsoil is equally favourable to Merlot. Grapes are harvested by hand, in parcels of roughly one hectare each.

Grapes are fully de-stemmed, then fermented in stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place partly in tank, partly in barrel, and the wine is then aged in 225-litre barriques, 55% new, for 16-18 months before bottling.

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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.

Recommended Châteaux
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.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

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.

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