Decanter: 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. 97 Points
James Suckling: 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. 98 - 99 points
Jancis Robinson: 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%
Haut-Bailly has 28 hectares of vineyards which are very well sited on high, gravelly ground just east of Léognan village. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). It is matured in small oak barriques (50% new) for 15 months and is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Château Haut-Bailly is a Graves Cru Classé estate that has really hit form in the last 5-7 years. Haut-Bailly was bought by the Sanders family in 1955 and was run by Jean Sanders until 1998 when Robert G. Wilmers, an American banker, purchased it. It is located in the commune of Léognan, which is usually more associated with white wine production.