CHÂTEAU HAUT BAILLY
2006 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan
Round and harmonious, silky, chalk-fine tannins. Perfectly ripe without sweetness. Lovely purity and good fruit to the finish. The beginnings of complexity. Real wine. Rating: 92-92 L&S (Apr 2007)
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(Sept 2007) Notably dark. Meaty, sappy nose with real race. Looks good! Great freshness. This and Domaine de Chevalier promise well for the Graves. 2013-22 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2007)
Full ruby-red. Sappy aromas of black and blue fruits, licorice pastille and menthol lifted by a floral topnote. Then tight, dry and classic on the palate, with terrific energy and an impression of weightlessness to the youthfully imploded flavors of black fruits, minerals, camphor, cedar and tobacco. As smooth as it is, it's also quite serious and uncompromising. Rating: 91(+?) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 2007)
Gorgeous nose, with fantastic aromas of minerals, berries and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and lots of gorgeous fruit. Very long and refined. Very close to the 2005. This shows wonderful finesse and length for the vintage. Rating: 92-94 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (May 2007)
This is histoically one of the most ethereal and elegant wines of Bordeaux and under the new prorietor, American banker Robert Wilmers, backed up by Véronique Sanders. the granddaughter of the former owner, Daniel Sanders, Haut Bailly is making its finest wines in nearly three decades. The 2006 boasts a dark ruby color along with a stunning bouquet of charcoal embers intermixed with sweet black cherry and black currant fruit, beautifully integrated, subtle oak, medium body, and a gorgeous texture. Despite impressive fruit intensity and impeccable length, it remains light on its feet. This classic Graves tastes like the Cheval Blanc of Pessac-Léognan. Antipated maturity: 2012-2030 Rating: 91-94 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (May 2007)
A very pure nose of blackberry, blueberries and raspberry although it is lacking just a little delineation at this primordial stage. Touch of fresh tobacco developing in the glass. The palate is impressive with ripe black fruits, toasty tannins, superb balance and focus. Great persistency, this is an absolute joy even at this stage. Clean, crisp finish with superb persistency. Black cherries, blueberries, a lot of vanillary oak but balanced by the intensity of fruit. Bravo! Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (May 2007)
Dense purple. Nose floral, fragrant. Palate has sweet and juicy, fine fruit under a firm tannic structure. Needs time but will be good. Tannins pretty hard at present. Acidity also quite present here. Good length. 2014-34. Rating: **** www.decanter.com (Apr 2007)
A bit overripe and lolly-like on the nose, although the Graves freshness shines through too. Very slightly dull and lacking vivacity on the palate. Drying finish. A little stodgy even if worthy - gripping tannins. Very dry. A bit more solid than usual. Another tasting revealed it as pretty sweet and succulent - then very dry tannins. A disjunction between the please-all start and the drying finish for the moment. 2016-26 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2007)
Château Haut Bailly
The now very reliable Pessac-Léognan estate of Haut Bailly was revived after its purchase by Belgian Daniel Sanders. He'd married into the Bordeaux wine trade in 1919, and formed a determination to buy Haut Bailly after tasting their awesome 1945. There was much work to do upon buying the estate, some of the vines were still ungrafted for instance, and the renovation was still not complete by the time Daniel's son took over in 1979. Véronique Sanders represents the latest generation to run the estate, albeit under the benign ownership of American Robert Wilmers who bought Haut Bailly in 1998 bringing more much needed investment, the fruits of which can be seen in the high quality of today's wines. The vineyards are planted to a fairly typical "Left Bank" mix of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.
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