2020 - Ch Haut Bailly Grand Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan
Colour
Red
Producer
Château Haut-Bailly
Region
Pessac-Léognan
Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Drinking
2028 - 2050
Case size
6x75cl
Available Now

2020 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
2028 - 2050
Case size
6x75cl
Available Later
In Bond
Case price £576.00
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Tasting Notes

  • NM

    Neal Martin, May 2021,
    Score: 95-97

    The 2020 Haut-Bailly was picked September 9–25 in what the estate has called the "year of reinvention." Having left my sample to open for 30 minutes and then assessed it over the following three hours, I found that it has a mercurial nose of gorgeous blackberry, briar, white pepper, incense and hints of blood orange. It gains intensity and becomes more floral with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but firm tannins that provide backbone. There is plenty of black fruit laced with white pepper and clove. Perhaps less rich on the finish compared to the last two vintages – a virtue as far as I am concerned, as it allows more terroir to show through. This is an impressive Haut-Bailly to coincide with their new winery, which I hope to visit very soon. 2030-2065

  • WA

    Wine Advocate, May 2021,
    Score: 96-98+

    A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Haut-Bailly was harvested from the 9th to 25th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.3%. Deep purple-black in color, it prances out of the glass with naturally beautiful notions of fresh black cherries, violets, mulberries and boysenberries, giving way to hints of redcurrant jelly, star anise, tilled soil and menthol. The medium to full-bodied palate is delicately crafted with velvety/grainy tannins and fantastic freshness framing the perfumed red and black berry layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note. Drink 2025-2050

  • DC

    Decanter, May 2021,
    Score: 96

    Rich in texture and colour, this has clear layers and complexity, a wine that you want to take your time with, slow down and enjoy. One that will take its time to age also. This has a precision and a clarity to the aromatics, and a gentle buzz of minerality that gives a physical reaction in the mouth. Less exuberant than the 2018 or 2019, making this a vintage that suits the style of Haut-Bailly. A slight austerity to the tannins on the finish gives a blueberry redcurrant edge. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend (now around eight years old), usually co-fermented with the Cabernet Sauvignon (sometimes with Cabernet Franc). IPT similar to 2016, 2010, 2005, but with a softness that comes from extremely ripe tannins. Strong potential for upscoring when it bottle. Drink 2030-2050 (JA)

  • AG

    Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
    Score: 95-97

    Deep, rich and explosive, the 2020 Haut-Bailly is magnificent from the very first taste. Dark fruit, chocolate, licorice and spice give the 2020 a level of unctuousness that is absolutely thrilling. Readers should be patient, as the 2020 is going to need time to come around. Yields are down 25% from 2019, and that richness comes through loud and clear. Drink 2032-2060

  • GDH

    Goedhuis, May 2021,
    Score: 96-98

    52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot Veronique Sanders says the best vintages are not always the easiest and 2020 is her proof! Bearing all the hallmarks of great breeding and its very special location on the rise of a hill outside Leognan, nothing holds this wine back. A complete assortment of bramble fruits, dark cherry and cassis are here. Whilst concentrated, not one component dominates the other: there is a lovely ripeness, the tannins are stylish and the alcohol is comfortably balanced with the acidity. No doubting its pedigree! Brilliant.

  • WCI

    Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
    Score: 97-99

    Deeply colored, the wine explodes with fresh flowers, tobacco leaf, cigar box, currants, blackberry, Allspice, licorice, savory herbs and smoke aromas. On the palate, the wine is intense, balanced, silky and refined. The fruits express purity, harmony, length and complexity, finishing with layers of currants, blackberry, herbs, pepper and plums that hold your focus for at least 50 seconds. Give this at least 10-12 years of age. It will evolve and provide sensuous tasting for at least 25 or more years after that. The wine blends 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc., 14.3% ABV, pH 3.9. The harvest took place September 9 to September 25. The Grand Vin was produced from 60% of the harvest. 2020 was the first vintage produced in their new cellars.

  • JR

    Jancis Robinson, April 2021,
    Score: 17++

    Powerful, deep-coloured wine with a considerable tannic core. Mellow fruit provides a suave texture but the pixelated tannins are still palpable. Intense, brooding with lots of extract, the finish warm, the oak just present. Needs time to knit. (JL) 14.3% Drink 2028 – 2045

  • JD

    Jeb Dunnuck, May 2021,
    Score: 96-98+

    A legendary Haut-Bailly in the making, the 2020 sports a dense purple color to go with powerful notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, scorched earth, and graphite. Reminding me of the 2010, it takes plenty of air to show at its best yet is full-bodied, has a seamless texture, massive of ultra-fine tannins, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's one of the most structured, powerful Haut-Bailly I've ever tasted, yet it still has the classic elegance, nuance, and length of this terrific terroir. It will need 5-7 years (or more) of bottle age but will have 50 years of overall longevity. The 2020 is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 3% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

  • MJ

    Matthew Jukes, May 2021,
    Score: 19+

    Véronique Sanders told me that in the past, so-called ‘great vintages’ used to come from relatively ‘easy’ years, and while the last three Bordeaux vintages have certainly made a number of truly great wines, the vintage conditions have been anything but easy. The 2020 vintage has been both a personal and professional challenge with the small matter of a global pandemic wreaking havoc all over the world and even in this noble wine region, so Véronique has dedicated her 2020s to her ‘courageous’ Haut Bailly and Le Pape teams. This is a delicious Haut-Bailly with a thrilling perfume of perfectly ripe grapes and discreet leaf details. The oak is firm and it buttresses the dense, dark fruit beautifully. Bold, regal and amazingly well-balanced considering its powerful stance, this is a long, fine wine with lip-smacking tannins and a welcoming kick of brightness and joy right on the finish. While the overall tone is of a contemplative soul as opposed to an extrovert, this is a delicious Haut-Bailly and when you dive into the serene black fruit and allow your palate to swim around its cathedral-like caverns of flavour there is a stunning sensation of freshness when you eventually come up for air. This is a wine that will be sure to open and reveal itself younger in its life than the past handful of vintages but I venture its staying power will be extraordinary, too.

More Tasting Notes Hide More Tasting Notes

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.