Chateau Haut-Bailly 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - " I have had this wine now four separate times since I wrote my official review after bottling of the 2009s. It goes from strength to strength, and it is not surprising that it is now one of the perfect wines of this great, great vintage – the finest vintage of Bordeaux that I have tasted in 37 years covering that epicenter for world-class quality in wine. Much of it is attributable to winemaker Véronique Sanders and her boss, Robert Wilmers. Their incredibly draconian selection process and their enormous investments in both the viticulture and the estate as well as the winemaking facility have paid off brilliantly over the last decade. The 2009, which has an opaque ruby/purple color, an extraordinary nose of high-quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, graphite, blackcurrants and spice, hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied, saturated and rich mouthfeel, but an elegant and ethereal quality that is difficult to articulate. It is rich, complex and tastes as if it were the vinous equivalent of a remarkable haute couture creation from the late Coco Chanel. It is full-bodied yet elegant, powerful yet delicate, and remarkably velvety-textured, sumptuous and loaded with upside potential. It can be approached now, as most 2009s tend to be, given their richness of fruit, low acidity and extraordinary concentration, but the great complexity that will emerge from this fabulous terroir is at least a decade away, and this wine is set for 50 or more years of longevity. Kudos to Haut-Bailly! "
James Suckling - "Aromas of blackberries, wet earth and mushrooms, follow through to a full body, with a solid core of fruit. Velvety and delicious, yet wonderfully structured. Muscular wine. Best ever? Try in 2018."
Wine Enthusiast - "Smooth and opulent, this immediately appeals with its generous fruit and texture that feels like velvet. The structure sits under the seductive surface, with a chocolate wood flavor, fruit tannins and density. Age for over 10 years at least."
Wine Spectator - "Offers a rich, very dense feel, but stays racy thanks to a strong graphite frame around the core of roasted fig, plum sauce and maduro tobacco. Muscular but defined on the finish, with a long tarry edge in reserve. This shows serious depth and is more backward than most of its peers. Should really stretch out nicely in the cellar. Best from 2017 through 2035."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Medium ruby-red. Very ripe but subdued aromas of dark berries, black cherry, minerals, woodsmoke, mocha and smoky underbrush. Silky on entry, then utterly smooth and seamless in the middle, with outstanding concentration and lift to the berry, tobacco and hot rock flavors. Finishes with utterly noble tannins and outstanding, slowly building length and lingering perfume. This outstanding Haut-Bailly saturates every square millimeter of the palate without leaving any undue impression of weight. I was reminded of the time I was served three classy old Pessac-Leognan wines blind. I guessed that I was tasting Haut-Brion, but the bottles turned out to be Haut-Bailly 1961, 1945 and 1928. "
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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.