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2015 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan Château Haut Bailly

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Village Pessac-Léognan
Classification Cru Classé

Fuller and more complete than new addition 'Le Pape' and the second wine 'Parde de Haut Bailly', but the 'Pape' has the edge when it comes to lively aromatics. I am sure some of this tannic and polyphenolic density will come out as flavour in time, but right now this is quite dumb. It is still one of the most beauifully balanced wines of the Graves, and a long finish which is full of fruit and a bit of freshness too. Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2016)

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This is an incredible young red with precision and focus that is second to almost none. Full body with a ultra-fine tannin drive that is seamless as it is endless. It ends with such power. Try in 2024 but already impressive to taste. Drinking range: 2024 - Rating: 98 James Suckling, 2018)

In a very good vintage for Pessac-Léognan, Haut-Bailly really stands out for its quality, confirming the ongoing improvements here. Intense, brooding and given extra structure by the use of Petit Verdot for the first time, this is complex, saline and focused with delightful oak integration and a long, stylish finish. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 96 Tim Atkin MW, 2016)

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Very dark, luscious colour - one of the most distinctive colours of all! Savoury and not forced but awfully attractive. Round and fresh. Very nicely assembled. Definitely Graves. Long and very 'cashmere'! Real lift yet intensely ripe fruit too. Very neat! Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2016)

This is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. It has a dark, very pure and perfumed character, with rich fruit, very Cabernet in style, with dried blackcurrant skins, juniper berries, lightly curranty notes, with a dusty and somewhat ethereal edge. The palate is plush, polished, but it has structure too, with beautifully elegant composition, the dark, curranty, berry fruit draped over ripe, succulent, poised tannins and fresh acids. This is beautifully fresh and perfumed, but also substantial, charming, and elegant. A great Haut-Bailly which seems set to please all palates, modern and traditional. A really long finish, laden with ripe tannins. Wonderful. Rating: 17.5-18.5/20 Chris Kissack, 2016)

The Graves wine of the vintage (along with Haut-Brion’s red). A structural, sensual, expansive wine. Dense but deft, 3.75pH, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and for the first time this year a new plot of 4% Petit Verdot (young vines but already powerful and spicy). Incredible persistency. Picking dates were 15 September for the first Merlot grapes and 8 October for the last Cabernets, allowing for a truly relaxed pace. Represents 55% of total crop. Double the usual rain in August after four months of serious deficit, then back to half of normal rainfall for both September and October (44mm instead of 90mm) – which is why director Véronique Sanders said for the first time ‘August rains saved the vintage’. This has the potential to be upscored when in bottle. Drinking range: 2025 - 2042 Rating: 97 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2016)

The 2015 Haut Bailly is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot (Véronique Sanders told me that the latter was planted three years ago.) My sample included 80% new oak, but there will be 50% in the final blend. Deep in color, the bouquet is very intense with multilayered blackberry, blueberry, crème de cassis and subtle black olive aromas, introverted at first but soon racing out of the blocks with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, quite firm tannin. This is an Haut-Bailly with real backbone, real sense of purpose. It could have tipped over into being overpowering due to that intense Merlot, but the acidity keeps everything in check and the finish demonstrates wonderful tension. In particular, the aftertaste is incredibly long in the mouth. This Haut Bailly is up there with the 2009 and 2010 - a bravura Pessac-Léognan destined for long-term ageing. Do yourself (and the wine) a favor and cellar it for 12 years, drinking the 2012 or 2013 before reaching for this. Drinking range: 2027 - 2065 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, 2016)

The 2015 Haut-Bailly is remarkably vivid for such a big wine. Firm beams of tannin give the 2015 much of its shape and overall energy, both of which the 2015 needs to balance its superb concentration. Sweet floral and spice notes give lift to the unctuous red cherry jam, pomegranate and blueberry flavors. The 2015 is likely to need quite a bit of time to come together, but it is already a very special wine. Even with all of its obvious depth, the 2015 retains gorgeous freshness. In 2015, the blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, the first time Petit Verdot has appeared in the blend. Rating: 95-97 Antonio Galloni, 2016)

This is a vivid and powerful red with lots of bright fruit and spice character. Full body, chewy tannins and loads of fruit on the finish. Firm and focused tannins. Lots of energy and vibrance. Spice and violet leaf undertone. Pure fruit. Pure structure. Rating: 98-99 James Suckling, 2016)

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.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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