- Nick's Import
2016 Chateau Haut Bailly
Based in Pessac-Leognan on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, Chateau Haut-Bailly has 30 hectares under vine planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. As it is only recently that the wines have truly excelled, with knock out wines in 2005/2009/2010/2015/2016, they are one of the best values in Bordeaux, but also one of the hardest to find.
Superb depth of colour featuring a pitch black core and a deep dark red black tinged hue. Beautifully perfumed nose with aromatics of violets, red to black currants and ripe mulberry flowing through the olfactory senses. Subtle cigar box, dried herb, light earth and spicy tobacco notes then ensue. Perfectly proportioned, there’s exquisite balance between the rich red to blackcurrant and mulberry fruit and the elegant, seamlessly integrated tannin structure. Adding further interest are nuances of vanillin cedar, tobacco, minerally graphite like characters, dried herbs and spice. Magnificent length and definition with a long savoury conclusion. A beautifully crafted Bordeaux blessed with sophistication.
Cellar 8-10 years plus.
The 2016 Haut-Bailly is medium to deep garnet-purple in color. The nose opens with beautiful floral notes of violets and lavender accented with earthy notions and sparks of crushed rocks over a core of kirsch, cassis and wild blueberries. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has layer upon layer of red, black and blue fruits intermingled with earth and mineral hints leading to a very long, perfumed finish. Drink 2023-2046.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
Matching the brilliant 2015, the 2016 Château Haut Bailly checks in as a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. This sensational effort boasts a deep purple color as well as a massive bouquet of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, crushed flowers, and graphite, with just hints of smoky earth emerging with time in the glass. Deep, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, it’s nevertheless all about finesse and elegant, and this beauty just glides across the palate. Reminding me a little bit of the 2009 with its textural richness and length, it’s another awesome wine from Véronique Sanders that’s capable of keeping for 30+ years. Drink 2019-2049.
Wonderful aromas of tobacco, sweet fruit and licorice follow through to a full body with ultra-fine tannins that caress every inch of your palate. Love the length and subtlety to this young wine. Gorgeous. Drink after 2024.
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. Drink 2026-2050.
Neal Martin – Vinous
This is energetic and grippy, with tar and melted licorice notes wrapped around a core of bramble, red currant paste and black cherry preserve flavors. The tarry edge reemerges on the finish, working with a singed apple wood element to give this solid drive through the finish. Best from 2023 through 2038.