May 5th 2017
The 5th growth Pauillac, Chateau Batailley, has produced a superlative wine in 2016 to follow on from their blockbuster 2015.
Following the announcement that Pauillac’s other outstanding estate in this price category and another favourite of ours, Ch Haut Batailley, will not be released en primeur following its purchase by the Cazes family (of Ch Lynch Bages), this is the appellation’s most significant release at this level.
The classic nature of 2016 has very much played into Batailley’s hands. Dominated by a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, the style here is one of supreme balance and poise enclosed in a firm tannic structure and dominated by delicious cassis and refined dark berry flavours. We anticipate that it will require a decade until it really hits its drinking peak and will continue to drink beautifully for several decades after that.
Batailley has long been regarded as one of Pauillac’s most solid and reliable châteaux however in recent vintages the quality of the fruit has noticeably improved, so much so that this famous château, located on a plateau just to the west of Mouton Rothschild, now sits alongside the appellation’s other leading protagonists, outside of the first growths of course.
At £414 per case, this knockout 2016 surely has to be one of the buys of the vintage in the middle of the price spectrum.
Ch Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac 2016
£414.00 per 12 bottles IB
£424.00 per 6 magnums IB
£168.00 per single double magnum IB (300cl)
£243.00 per jeroboam IB (500cl)
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. This property offers savvy buyers a classical portrait of Pauillac, with its high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. There is a sweetness to the cassis fruit tones, lifted by a leafy Cabernet freshness. Fine, firm, ripe tannins drive through the finish. Drink 2023-2032. Goedhuis, 93-95 points
A tunnel of tannins takes you right through the palate, but it is not fully walled in as with 2010, rather the tannins are pliable and the overall feeling is of well controlled fruit that deepens as you go along. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 12% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, and a pH of 3.6. Wonderfully deep fruit flavours of blackberry and crushed cassis reside against black chocolate and well contained tannins. A lovely vintage that has power but is just the right side of big extraction. Good persistency with a coffee-scented finish. This is a buy, for sure. Jane Anson, Decanter, 93 points
I thought the 2015 defined the new Batailley, but this is fantastic. Full-bodied and so tannic and powerful. Flavors of chocolate, coffee and spices. Excellent finish. Very muscular. Tight and precise. James Suckling, 95-96 points
The 2016 Batailley is a blend of 12% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 85% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 50h hectoliters per hectare. Matured in 60% new oak. It has an intense graphite infused bouquet with fine delineation, some freshly picked Pauillac mint coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin that grip the mouth insistently; with graphite and tobacco-infused black fruit dominating, this a classically styled Batailley in the vein of previous vintages with the elegance coming through towards the finish. This is one of those wines that grows on you, perhaps not as easy or as charming to taste as other Pauillac 2016s at this stage, but knowing this property well, I know how it can blossom when it matters, which is when you and I drink it. Neal Martin, 93-95 points