An outstanding wine of the vintage, and one of the best wines this skilful, intelligent team has ever made. This vivacious wine is driven by black damson fruit and smoky cedar wood, which tumbles from the glass. Exquisitely fine, chalky tannins are perfectly pitched. Nothing overblown here, it is restrained yet expressive, giving the impression of effortless, noble class.
Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Haut-Bailly offers up a tantalizingly savory nose of smoked meats, chargrill, tapenade, unsmoked cigars and black truffles with a core of black currants, black cherries and wild blueberries plus wafts of iron ore and bouquet garni. Medium to full-bodied, very firm and yet wonderfully plush with a powerful core of fruit—this vintage is truly an iron fist in a velvet glove. The finish goes on and on with persistent earthy/minerally notes and savory/sweet fruit. Although it is tempting and indeed delicious right now, the wine still possesses many restrained layers and should handsomely reward the patient. Lisa Perrotti Brown Score 97+/100 Drink Dates 2024- 2050
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.
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! 13.6% Drink 2025-2045
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.
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.
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.
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. Drink: 2025-35
Rich in sandstone composed of fossilised shellfish ("faluns"), Haut Bailly has one of the mostnoteworthy terroirs in Pessac Léognan. As a direct result of this ancient soil, their wines areextremely elegant and pure. Though not enormously high profile, this château is one of the mostappreciated by critics and collectors alike.
Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.