Chateau Haut-Bailly 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Emile Peynaud's definition: "an exceptional vintage is one obtained in unusual climatic conditions" applies perfectly to the 2005 vintage. The power, freshness, balance, and elegance displayed by this wine make us think it will become a legendary vintage.
Wine Spectator - "Dark purple in color. Offers pure fruit, with crushed raspberry, blackberry and dried flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins that touch every inch of the palate. Long and racy, with elegance and beauty harking back to bygone days. Best after 2015. 6,665 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "Haut-Bailly's American proprietor, Robert Wilmers, backed up by the brilliant Veronique Sanders, continues to go from strength to strength. A fabulous example of this estate, the 2005 is an ethereal, delicate, finesse-styled offering with intensity as well as richness. It has all the concentration one could want, but it comes across as gorgeously elegant and sublime because of its combination of delicacy, power, and depth. Beautiful raspberry, black cherry, currant, graphite, and scorched earth notes are subtle, but provocative. In the mouth, there is good acidity, medium body, ripe tannin, and terrific length. This is a beauty of haute couture from Pessac-Leognan. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "From its very deep, keenly composed, black currant aromas to its ample extract, fine sense of body and very long, tannin-laced finish, this sturdy youngster hits all of the right marks and must be counted among the better wines of the district in 2005. It will extra time before reaching its best, and eight to ten years seem the minimum wait before its considerable potential begins to be met."
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright medium ruby. Deep aromas of plum, currant, tobacco, mocha and menthol. Superripe and rich but with superb ripe acidity and firm tannins currently keeping the fruit and mineral elements under wraps. Just this side of severe today: here's a 2005 that appears already to have shut down in the bottle. Best today on the back end, where the wine really spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate. I'd give it a good 12 years of aging; it should be very long-lived. Classy, sharply chiseled Haut-Bailly with noteworthy elegance."
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Chateau Haut-Bailly Winery
Chateau Haut-Bailly is situated on the left bank of the River Garonne, south of Bordeaux in the commune of Pessac-Léognan – home to all the Graves Crus Classés. A vineyard with 30 hectares (74 acres) of planted vines on one piece of land, it sits on a high ridge overlooking a small winding road leading from Leognan to Cadaujac. The sloping terrain is well-graded and has excellent drainage.
If great wine results from a harmonious relationship between man, the vine, and nature – a concept the French call terroir – the most subtle of these three elements is the soil. At Haut-Bailly, it is sandy, mixed with gravel, and rests on a subsoil of sandstone petrified with the remains of prehistoric fossil shells. All this contributes to the special character of Haut-Bailly wine. View all Chateau Haut-Bailly Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.