Chateau Haut-Bailly 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
The 2008 harvest will remain in the history books as one of the longest and latest of the decade: 10 days of grape picking spread out over 5 weeks! The harvest began on September 25 for the youngest merlots, while the last cabernet sauvignons were brought in from 0ctober 17 to 23, in perfect health.
Low yields and a late year are a strong indication of excellent quality. The 2008 vintage is rich in color, has great vivacity, structure and balance, with velvety tannins that are seductive and powerful: both striking and soft!
The Wine Advocate - "A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 Haut-Bailly possesses incredible complexity. Tell-tale notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal, damp earth, black cherries and black currants intermixed with a hint of subtle barbecue smoke are present in this classic, quintessential Graves. Medium-bodied with an emerging, precocious complexity, it is a super-pure, beautifully textured, long wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 20-25 years. Bravo!"
Wine Enthusiast - "While at this young stage there may be toasty aromas, there is also intense, perfumed fruit. This complex, distinguished wine is polished, with plenty of bright fruits and acidity."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Perfumed aromas and flavors of currant, violet, licorice, minerals and tobacco. Concentrated, sappy and quite dry; densely packed, but explosive inner-mouth energy gives this a compelling light touch. The long, palate-staining finish features serious tannins. Quite backward for the vintage, and showing no easy sweetness today. 92(+?) points"
James Suckling - "Wonderful nose of decadent fruit and chocolate, with hints of meat and flowers. Full bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a spicy, silky and long finish. Tight now, but so fine and dense. Give it four to five years of bottle age. So lovely. Best after 2013."
Wine Spectator - "Racy and slightly taut, with red currant and cherry pit notes laced with grilled herb and warm stone. There’s a sinewy edge on the finish, with more minerality than fruit for now, but this adds some flesh as it airs, showing subtle persistence. Drink now through 2016."
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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.
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