2018 Château Haut-Bailly, Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan

In 2018 , Haut-Bailly lost half of the production to mildew but by no means has this affect the quality. Dense and well-structured but with a lifted elegance, subtle spice and glorious fruit. A mouth-watering rush of acidity keeps everything fresh.

Critic score
97/100

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WINE DETAILS

  • Region & country
    Pessac-Léognan, Graves, Bordeaux, France
  • Grape
    55% Cabernet Sauvignon
    35% Merlot
    5% Cabernet Franc
    5% Petit Verdot
  • Maturity
    Young 2026 - 2050
  • Colour
    Red
  • Sweetness
    Dry
  • Style
    Still
  • Unit Volume
    Bottle (75cl.)
2018 Château Haut-Bailly, Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan

TASTING NOTES

The 2018 Haut-Bailly is blended of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Grapes were harvested September 17 to October 9, and the wine has 14.4% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it opens slowly with profound notions of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis, roasted nuts and black olives, unfurling to reveal notions of menthol, crushed rocks, molten licorice and chargrilled meat plus a hint of lilacs. Full-bodied, rich and densely laden with layer upon layer of vibrant black fruits and mineral nuances, it has a solid backbone of firm, velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with compelling restraint and exciting energy.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019)
(96—98+)/100

This is a serious 2018, structured, layered and full of Haut-Bailly signature. The texture is striking, with the silkiness emphasised by a pH of 3.87 and a relatively high alcohol that is effortlessly integrated into the body of the wine. The complexity builds slowly through the palate but the persisting feeling is of menthol, a lifting off and peeling back of the intensity, revealing the fresher more nuanced notes underneath. There's a lot of the 2015 character here, in terms of its enjoyable structure and generous fruit, but it's more like 2016 in its serious finish, and there's no question that this will age well. The IPT is 86, more than the 84 measured in the 2010, but you don't feel it in the same way here. 5% Cabernet Franc completes the blend, co-fermented with Petit Verdot because they like the balance that it gives. 21hl/ha yield.

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2019)
(98)/100

Incredible depth of fruit to this with a center palate that shows superb character and texture. I love the hazelnut and coffee-bean undertones to the beautiful fruit, which shows great finesse. Full-bodied yet compact and tight, giving a sense of agility and flight to the wine. Extremely tight and polished tannins.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2019)
(97—98)/100

The 2018 Haut-Bailly speaks with real authority and class. Deeply spiced notes lead into a core of red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, licorice, new leather, menthol and tobacco. Vivid and dramatic in bearing, the 2018 possesses striking resonance from start to finish. There is plenty of tannin as well, but it is pretty much buried by the sheer luxuriousness of the fruit, while the mid-palate and saline-infused finish show terrific freshness as well as purity. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (April 2019)
(94—97)/100