Chateau Haut-Bailly (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
The Merlots of 2017 are both fruity and balanced. Cabernets offer a pleasant aromatic freshness and savory tannic structure with good density. The overall yield of the vintage is quite low. The 2017 blend of Haut-Bailly is particularly floral and is composed of those parcels spared by Mother Nature – the plots of old vines which make up the historic heart of the vineyard.
Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 94-96
Blackberry, walnut, iodine, and sandalwood aromas follow through to a full body, round and juicy tannins and an intense, flavorful finish. This shows richness with structure. Excellent 2017. Try after 2023.
A dry wine firm with dark tannins, this is destined for long aging. Concentration and a solid structure are balanced by the dusty texture and dry core. It will take a while for the potential of the juicy black fruits to come through, so this wine needs to wait until 2024.
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Chateau Haut-Bailly spent 16 months in 50% new French oak. It reveals a medium ruby hue as well as a classic, medium-bodied, elegant yet also ripe style that's common in the vintage. With medium body, ripe, polished tannins, beautiful elegance and purity, and a great finish, it's a terrific wine in the vintage that will drink well for 25-30 years.
A bold tarry note coils around the core of plum, black currant and blackberry fruit, while licorice root and bramble details check in on the finish. Packed and grippy, this is a touch rustic in profile at this early stage but should unwind easily enough with time, as all the pieces are in place. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2038.
The vineyard of Haut-Bailly as we know it today began to take shape when the Goyanèche and then the Daitze family acquired and unified the best vine growing plots in the 1530s. The estate remained in the Daitze Family until 1630 when it was purchased by Firmin Le Bailly and Nicolas de Leuvarde, wealthy Parisian bankers and lovers of Graves wines.
Following substantial investments, the property continued to be passed down the Bailly family line until 1736, when Irishman Thomas Barton took the helm. His strong business network allowed him to spread word about the quality of Chateau Haut-Bailly at a time when French ‘claret' was beginning its rise to stardom in England and Ireland.
Throughout the 18th century powerful, well-connected and ambitious owners drove Haut-Bailly to new heights, including Christophe Lafaurie de Monbadon and his son Laurent who went on to become Mayor of Bordeaux in 1805.
In 1872, Alcide Bellot des Minières acquired the estate and constructed the imposing, stone chateau building that remains to this day. He pioneered a precise, science-driven approach to viticulture, becoming a figure of legend widely known as the 'King of Vintners'. Thanks to Alcide's incredible drive, Haut-Bailly experienced a remarkable golden age, commanding the same prices as the First Growths: Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut-Brion.
The purchase of Haut-Bailly in 1955 by Daniel Sanders, a Belgian negociant, opened up a new era. Daniel and his son, Jean, recomposed the vineyard, renovated the winery and took pains to select only grapes from the best vines for their grand vin. They succeeded in giving the wines a unique style and reputation, and Haut-Bailly recovered its image as a great wine on the international marketplace.
In July 1998 Chateau Haut-Bailly was purchased by American Robert G. Wilmers, chairman and CEO of the M&T Bank based in Buffalo, New York. A lifelong lover of Bordeaux Grands Crus, Bob was behind every strategic decision, ensuring that Haut-Bailly followed a path of progression and continuity whilst remaining ever-respectful of its heritage.
After Mr. Wilmers purchased the property, he first asked Jean Sanders to stay on board, and then Véronique Sanders, fourth generation, to serve as general manager, overseeing a far-reaching investment programme to modernise the vineyards, cellars, offices, and chateau itself.
For Bob and his wife Elisabeth, Haut-Bailly went well beyond a financial investment: it was a joint passion. Following the sad passing of Bob in December 2017, his family has taken over and will continue in his footsteps. Together with the management team, they are committed to continuing Bob’s work in the same spirit and energy as in the past twenty years. The many recently initiated and future projects will be pursued.