Strikingly direct dark berry fruits, this is an easy pleasant style with a good balanced tannic structure. A rounded and fresh style for mid-term drinking.
Long owned by Xavier Borie, this Pauillac estate sits next to Batailley and is just south of Borie’s other famous château, Grand-Puy-Lacoste. The 2012, dramatically better from bottle than barrel, is bigger boned, richer and more flamboyant than this wine normally tends to be. The color is a healthy purple, and the wine offers plenty of cassis and licorice as well as a touch of incense. The oak from barrel-aging 18 months is largely obscured. Medium to full-bodied and impressively endowed, it comes off like a hypothetic blend of a St.-Julien and Pauillac, but this is a classic 2012 that is full, rich and impressive, with beautifully sweet tannins. Drink it over the next 20 years.
Elegant but somewhat diluted, this is a pleasant, one-dimensional, superficial Pauillac that can be drunk uncritically. It is not up to the standards of more recent vintages, no doubt because of the challenges of the 2012 vintage. Drink N/A
Tasted en primeur at the château. The Haut-Batailley 2012 is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot picked between 3rd and 16th October at 38hl/ha. It has an understated bouquet – a graphite seam interwoven through delicate black, slightly earthy fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a vibrant entry. There is crisp acidity here, a citric freshness that informs the classic, graphite-tinged finish that achieves fine symmetry. This should be approachable, but should likewise mature well over 15-20 years. Tasted April 2013.
A taut, herb-tinged style, with savory and rosemary wafting through the plum and red currant fruit. Lean but lengthy, this delivers an iron twinge. —J.M.
A super refined and pretty wine with blueberry and raspberry. Full-to-medium body, with integrated tannins and a long finish. Subtle and balanced for the vintage.
Château Haut-Batailley was bought by Jean-Charles Cazes of Ch Lynch Bages in 2017 from François-Xavier Borie. It has one of the highest vine densities in Bordeaux at 10,000 vines per hectare, and holds a superb location, neighbouring Chx Lynch Bages, Latour and Pichon Lalande.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.