September 28th 2017
The Batailley’s have long been confusing to many a Bordeaux lover. Historically all one estate, the vineyard were split into two when the Borie brothers divided it in 1942. Francois Borie kept the estate that runs up to the vineyards of Ch Lynch-Bages and so Ch Haut-Batailley was born. A fine location, a fifth growth in classification it offers one of the most complete examples of Pauillac, before hitting the heights and prices of its illustrious neighbours of 1st and 2nd growth quality.
At 22 ha it is a relatively small property in medoc terms and combines a fine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%) Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Franc (5%) to create a wine which has fully deserved reputation for expressing the power and punch of the very finest Pauillac’s with a degree of sweetness, freshness and subtlety. In recent years the estate has been beautifully managed by Francois’s Grandson Francois-Xavier Borie, whose style and philosophy has been very much the same as the one he has at his own property Ch Grand Puy-Lacoste, to allow the vineyard to express itself to a maximum, little interference and let nature take its course to allow each year to express its own personality . The 2015 vintage is as fine example of this as one can find, an exceptional vintage with great aging potential.
This year the new owners the Cazes family of Ch Lynch Bages, decided not to release the 2016 vintage en primeur. In all likelihood the estate will find a new pricing level and this for us may be one of the last opportunities to pick up a sensational property at, some might say, old fashioned prices. Time will tell, but whatever the outcome, in our view it still represents tremendous value.
Oh and Neal Martin, Antonio Galloni and Matthew Jukes all loved it:
2015 Ch Haut Batailley 5ème Cru Pauillac
£168.00 per 6 IB
A star wine, punching well above its classification. Direct, intense blackberry aromas carry through into the palate. A classic example of all the very best characteristics of the vintage: structured tannins, lively freshness and sweet dark berry fruits. Top class. Drink: 2022-2029. Goedhuis & Co
The 2015 Haut Batailley is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot, matured in 60% new oak. It was picked between 21 September until 2 October. It is a level up from the 2015 Lacoste Borie with much more fruit intensity: blackberry, boysenberry, tobacco and cedar aromas. It gathers momentum in the glass and develops a subtle mint accent. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, lithe tannin, very well balanced with just a slight tinniness that will disappear by the time in bottle. I love the pencil shaving sprinkled over the aftertaste here. With very good substance and impressive length, this is a classic Pauillac that I suspect will offer 25 or 30 years of pleasure.92-94 points. Neal Martin
A wine of class, pedigree and nuance, the 2015 Haut-Batailley is superb. Beams of supporting tannin give the dark purplish flavors striking energy and cut. Graphite, smoke, violet, mint, dark cherry and plum notes continue to open up in the glass. Haut-Batailley is a Pauillac with distinct Saint-Julien leanings, and that is exactly what comes across here. It is also one of the overachievers of the year. The 2015 was impressive each and every time I saw it. 92-95 points. Antonio Galloni
With a strong, determined Cabernet core this wine is more purposeful than some of the softer releases and it reaffirms its intentions to be considered among the top wines of the commune. While Grand-Puy-Lacoste always shows charm alongside structure and intensity, Haut-Batailley is often a more muscular creation with a less generous air in its youth. The colour is a majestic purple and the black cherry and graphite nose is spellbinding. The palate is fairly slim and long with sleek lines and no trace of graininess or traction in the tannins as they are unbelievably fit. This is a wine that will require a few years to gather itself together but I would bet my house on it unravelling stunningly in five-eight years’ time. A wine to buy and treasure without breaking the bank and as far as classic Pauillac is concerned this wine is made to an age old design and I adore it because it doesn’t get carried away with its own grandeur. 18+ points. Matthew Jukes