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Chateau Haut-Bailly 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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13% ABV
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4.1 15 Ratings
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4.1 15 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Fruity, fresh and dense, the 2012 vintage has tight tannins and expresses the virtuosity of Haut-Bailly.

Blend: 60% Cabernet sauvignon, 40% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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V 96
Vinous
The 2012 Haut Bailly is quite fragrant and inviting. Dark raspberries, mint, crushed flowers, spices and rose petals all lift from the glass in this feminine, gracious Haut-Bailly that offers considerable near and medium-term appeal. All the elements fall into place in an effortless, stunningly beautiful wine endowed with personality and class. One of the wines of the vintage, the Haut Bailly will drink well for two decades-plus. This is a superb showing from proprietor Bob Wilmers and his team headed by Véronique Sanders. The decision to lower temperatures in fermentation and go for a soft, gentle extraction, along with strict selection has paid off big time.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2012 Haut Bailly is brilliant and does nothing to damper my belief that this vintage is underrated in the market. Offering up a classic bouquet of tobacco leaf, cigar wrapper, blackcurrants, lead pencil, and graphite, this beauty is full-bodied, has terrific concentration, integrated acidity and plenty of fine tannins. While it starts out up front and seemingly ready to go, it tightens up with time in the glass and is going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and drink nicely for two decades. It’s a sensational wine you won’t regret having in your cellar.
WW 95
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
One of the finest producers in Pessac-Léognan, Château Haut-Bailly has produced one of the most remarkable wines of the vintage. Though it seems almost too international in style, the wine retains its trueness to the area. It's generosity of berries and firm palate presence puts it in a special class. Drinks nicely now with a ribeye of beef. (Tasted: January 30, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Haut Bailly is a brilliant wine for the vintage. It has a very intense bouquet with scents of blackberry, bilberry, cedar and a touch of pencil lead. This is very well defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin, certainly one of the most structured Pessac-Léognan wines that I have encountered, yet it is struck through with wonderful balance and focus. It tightens up a little on the finish, a 2012 built for long-term drinking pleasure, and as such, I would afford it five or six more years in bottle if wishing to experience this in full flight. Tasted March 2017.
JS 94
James Suckling
This red shows intense blackberries, raspberries and strawberries on the nose, following through to a full body with refined yet firm tannins, fresh acidity and a delicate finish. The purity of fruit and finesse and texture of the tannins are all fantastic. Drink in 2019.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Very firm and closed up, this wine is a tough proposition at the moment. It has the weight to develop well along with richness. Acidity, sweet fruits and concentrated tannins will all come through strongly as the wine matures. Drink from 2020. Cellar Selection.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Well-stuffed, with thick and muscular brambly structure that easily supports the core of macerated black currant, fig and boysenberry fruit flavors. A tarry edge coats the finish. More backwards than most of its peers at this early stage, but all the elements are in place. Best from 2018 through 2027.
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Chateau Haut-Bailly

Chateau Haut-Bailly

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Chateau Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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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.

Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

CVB139282_2012 Item# 139282