Chateau Haut Batailley 1996
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - "While this may be the most impressive Haut-Batailley I have ever tasted, I am reluctant to go out on a limb and give this wine a higher rating until I can taste it a few more times from both cask and bottle. The wine exhibits a dense purple color, as well as a wonderfully sweet, classic Pauillac nose of black currants and cigar box notes. Powerful for Haut-Batailley (normally a light, elegant, supple Pauillac), the 1996 possesses intense fruit, medium to full body, ripe tannin, and a surprisingly long, layered finish. This appears to be a classic, and may merit an outstanding score.
Wine Spectator - "Aromas of blackberries and cassis, with hints of toasted oak. Full-bodied, chewy and rich. A bit one-dimensional on the palate."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-red. Floral, spicy aromas of black cherry, licorice and shoe polish. Thick and dense, with lovely sweetness and inner-mouth flavor. Boasts more volume than either the '98 or '97. Finishes thoroughly ripe, with rich, well-integrated tannins. A very strong vintage for this wine."
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Chateau Haut Batailley Winery
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About PauillacView a map of Pauillac wineries (pouy-YACK)
Home to three premier cru (first growth) chateaux, Pauillac is a leader in quality Bordeaux. Chateaux Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild are situated within the Pauillac appellation. Sandwiched between St.-Estèphe and St.-Julien, Pauillac wines are big - known for their combination of elegance and power.
Notable FactsThe gravel-based soils of Pauillac are key in creating the structured wines produced there. Like most of Bordeaux's left bank, Cabernet Sauvignon is the leading grape. Some typical descriptions of wine from Pauillac include: concentrated, full-bodied, powerful, firm tannins, ability to mature. Not all of the Pauillac wines are top price collectibles that you can only find at auctions. There are great values in the lower level crus, like the fifth growth, Chateau Lynch-Bages, as well as great Cru Bourgeois such as Chateau Pibran. These wines are more affordable and often mature a bit sooner.
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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.