- Château Haut-Bailly
- Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
- Case size
Robert Parker, May 2011,
A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 Haut-Bailly possesses incredible complexity. Tell-tale notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal, damp earth, black cherries and black currants intermixed with a hint of subtle barbecue smoke are present in this classic, quintessential Graves. Medium-bodied with an emerging, precocious complexity, it is a super-pure, beautifully textured, long wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 20-25 years. Bravo!
Robert Parker, April 2009,
The 2008 exhibits superb minerality as well as the delicacy of a great culinary preparation, packed and stacked with flavor, yet light on its feet. The 2008 will compete, perhaps eclipse the sensational 2005 and 2006. A dense ruby/purple color is followed by notes of charcoal, graphite, black currants, sweet cherries, spice box, and subtle earth. The wine possesses super purity, a medium to full-bodied, gorgeous texture, ripe, sweet tannins, and a layered mouthfeel. The acidity provides freshness, vibrancy, and delineation to all the component parts of this very concentrated yet quintessentially elegant wine. It is a sensational effort that should begin showing secondary nuances of complexity in 8-10 years, and evolve for three decades or more.
Jancis Robinson, April 2009,
Rather pale rim. Interesting savour. Well balanced. Very harmonious and polished with lots of ripe fruit and the (considerable) tannins well hidden. Glossy stuff. What's not to like? Though it's not a blockbuster.
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.