2016 - Ch Haut Bailly Grand Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan
Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Bailly
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2025 - 2040
Case size
6x75cl
Available Now

2016 CH HAUT BAILLY GRAND CRU CLASSÉ PESSAC-LÉOGNAN - 6x75cl

Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Bailly
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2025 - 2040
Case size
6x75cl
Available Now
Duty Paid (Inc. VAT)
Case price £646.07 (Inc. VAT)
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Tasting Notes

  • GDH

    Goedhuis, April 2017,
    Score: 95-97

    Véronique Sanders is rightly proud of her superb 2016, which I give the edge to over her already excellent 2015. She says the warm summer days allowed the fruit to reach the phenolic ripeness of 2005 and 2009, but the cool August and September nights maintained an acid level equal to the 2010 vintage. The perfect combination. Shining purple colour, with a lovely floral nose full of violets and fresh summer fruits. A very layered style of wine, rather than being flashy, with a lovely line of tannic intensity flowing throughout this fine wine, guaranteeing long term complexity. Superb. DR

  • NM1

    Neal Martin, January 2019,
    Score: 97

    The 2016 Haut-Bailly was mightily impressive when tasted from barrel. Now, matured in 50% new oak and bottled at the end of April 2018 (they prefer to bottle before spring here), it has a very well defined bouquet of black fruit, graphite, crushed stone and light rose petal aromas that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with quite grippy tannin. This Haut-Bailly feels pure and classic in style, offering well-judged acidity and a sophisticated, quite tensile finish that lingers long in the mouth. I suspect this might close down in a year or two and deserves perhaps 8 to 10 years in bottle to show what it can really do. The best Haut-Bailly in the modern era? For certain. 2026 - 2050

  • NM

    Neal Martin, April 2017,
    Score: 96-98

    The 2016 Haut Bailly is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc picked between 26 September until 18 October. Coming in with 13.6% alcohol and an IPT of 81, which is quite close to 2010, this was quite closed at first and so I allowed my sample 15-20 minutes to open while discussing the vintage with Véronique Sanders and technical manager, Gabriel Vialard. It has a classic bouquet that is certainly less opulent and extravagant than recent vintages. This is more controlled and focused, beautifully delineated with blackberry, cedar and Earl Grey aromas that gently waft from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine-grain tannin, sappy with superb delineation and real weight and presence in the mouth. There is just the right amount of spice and salinity, the latter beckoning you back for another sip and there is a haunting pencil lead note that forms the closing credits on the aftertaste. What a brilliant Haut-Bailly, perhaps the best that I have tasted in almost 20 years of tasting at this estate. Drink Date 2024 - 2060

  • AG1

    Antonio Galloni, January 2019,
    Score: 97+

    A big, vertical wine, the 2016 Haut-Bailly explodes onto the palate with tremendous depth and intensity. Readers should be in no rush to drink the 2016, as it won't be close to ready to drink for at least a decade, and I say that as an eternal optimist. Black cherry, smoke, tobacco, cedar, gravel and incense add to the wine's decidedly somber personality. 2028 - 2056

  • AG

    Antonio Galloni, April 2017,
    Score: 94-97+

    The 2016 Haut-Bailly is a huge, powerful wine that explodes in all directions. Black cherry, smoke, tobacco, licorice, menthol, incense and gravel are all pushed forward, but it is the wine's volume and pure intensity that stand out most. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is likely to be a slow-maturing wine, but even today the phenomenal finish is a marvel. The 2016 is a great Haut-Bailly in the making. It will reward several decades of cellaring.

  • JS

    James Suckling, April 2017,
    Score: 98-99

    This young wine shows such pinpoint precision with a full body, dense fruit and gorgeous intensity. Muscular yet toned and beautiful. It really builds on the finish. Very fine-grained. So long and beautiful. Sophisticated power. Oyster shell and iodine undertones. Traditional style yet with a modern interpretation. Savory.

  • DC

    Decanter, April 2017,
    Score: 97

    Hugely successful, a wine where the architecture becomes clearer with every minute that it remains in your mouth. Each strand of those softly-spun tannins really stands out, giving effortless support to the cassis, charcoal, tobacco and slate. Over it all, the most appealing, gently curling woodsmoke comes right on up through the palate. The whole effect is of a soft, caressing texture that manages to also be hugely intense. A wonderfully complex layering of flavours, absolutely no doubt that this is going to age beautifully. Harvest lasted for 12 days but was spread out over four weeks. Alcohol levels are the same as last year because they had no blockages of ripening. The blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc aged in 50% new oak. 3.7pH.

  • MJ

    Matthew Jukes, April 2017,
    Score: 19++

    The aromatic attack is amazing in this wine. There is serious intensity here, but this is not a heavy or muscular Haut- Bailly. The fruit is compact and sour, raging with powdery tannins and considerable energy, but the wine’s framework is bold and it takes this onslaught in its stride. The length is staggering and the balance spot on and while this is a very early moment in this wine’s life (I can see it making 40 years of age with ease) it is clear to see that this is a true Grand Vin. The overriding scent of roses and musk coupled with exoticism and also classicism is all-consuming. Delicious and lip-smacking but with a huge warning sign, saying ‘do not approach’, it is still easy to appreciate the generosity of fruit underpinned by the immensity of the power in this landmark vintage of Haut-Bailly.

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, April 2017,
    Score: 17

    Picked 26 September to 18 October. Rather floral nose. Ripe and broad. Quite chewy and structured. Cool and pretty dry. Pretty chewy! Lots of dynamism. Drink 2025-2040

  • TA

    Tim Atkin, May 2017,
    Score: 95

    Winemaker Gabriel Vialard puts the freshness of his wine down to the cold nights during the growing season, especially in September. Whatever the reason, this is an excellent Haut-Bailly with remarkable focus, precision and balance, stylish, scented oak and a long, satisfying finish. 2026-36

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Producer

Château Haut-Bailly

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.

Region

Pessac-Léognan

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.