CHÂTEAU HAUT BAILLY
2012 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan Château Haut Bailly
Deep colour, brutally young to taste but nevertheless quite exciting. Very dense A bit of a long-term classic - quite hard work for now. There is aroma and definition, but the finish is very dry. A second sample had a bit more lift, but the showing on this one day was of a good not great Haut Bailly. Rating: 92 L&S (May 2013)
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The Grand Vin is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, picked between September 27th and October 15th. The nose is comparatively reserved, broody black fruit, wild strawberry and hint of cedar. It is nicely focused, less precocious than recent vintages. The palate is soft and very smooth on the entry. Velvety soft tannins, although it needs just a little more lift on the mid-palate. It is quite linear towards the finish, quite caressing in the mouth with just a little new oak to be absorbed. There is nice grip and persistency here – a classic Haut-Bailly Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2013)
While the 2012 Haut-Bailly is not as powerful or rich as the 2009 and 2010, it is classically elegant, racy and noble. This medium-bodied effort is the poster child for elegance, finesse, balance and equilibrium. The Cantemerle of Pessac-Leognan? Its deep ruby/plum/purple color is followed by a sweet nose of black cherries, black currants, lead pencil shavings and a touch of spicy oak. This medium-bodied, pretty wine will benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring and last for two decades. The grand vin has been impressive under the administration of Veronique Sanders and her boss, Robert Wilmers, who has given her carte blanche to do whatever is necessary. 2017 - 2037 Rating: 91-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2013)
As it often does, Haut-Bailly has made one of the leading wines in Pessac-Léognan in 2012, and one that wouldn’t look out of place alongside its 2010. It’s a serious red, built for cellaring, with plenty of concentration, aromatic, floral fruit, tangy acidity and layered, age-worthy tannins. Drink: 2022-35 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Apr 2013)
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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