Chateau Haut-Bailly 2016

Chateau Haut-Bailly 2016

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As far back as 1461, locals knew that high quality vines were planted on the land which would become Chateau Haut Bailly. In 1530, the Goyaneche and Daitze family purchased the land which would later become Chateau Haut Bailly. For 100 years, the families owned the land until n 1630 it was purchased by Firmin Le Bailly and Nicolas de Leuvarde. After investments in the land and estate, is stayed in their control until 1736 wen Thomas Barton gain control. This was the start of the Golden age for Chateau Haut Bailly which lasted until the death of Alcide Bellot des Minieres. During his stewardship, Haut Bailly was commanding the same prices as the 5 first growths of the Medoc. He also built the Chateau. In 1955, Daniel Sanders purchased the Chateau and began to restore it to its former glory.The Sanders family kept the estate until 1998 wen it was purchased by Robert Wilmers. His family remains in control today.
Chateau Haut Bailly has 30 hectares planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.

The 2016 vintage was a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc

Wine Advocate: 98
The 2016 Haut Bailly is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc picked between 26 September until 18 October. Coming in with 13.6% alcohol and an IPT of 81, which is quite close to 2010, this was quite closed at first and so I allowed my sample 15-20 minutes to open while discussing the vintage with Vronique Sanders and technical manager, Gabriel Vialard. It has a classic bouquet that is certainly less opulent and extravagant than recent vintages. This is more controlled and focused, beautifully delineated with blackberry, cedar and Earl Grey aromas that gently waft from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine-grain tannin, sappy with superb delineation and real weight and presence in the mouth. There is just the right amount of spice and salinity, the latter beckoning you back for another sip and there is a haunting pencil lead note that forms the closing credits on the aftertaste. What a brilliant Haut-Bailly, perhaps the best that I have tasted in almost 20 years of tasting at this estate.
Decanter: 97
Hugely successful, a wine where the architecture becomes clearer with every minute that it remains in your mouth. Each strand of those softly-spun tannins really stands out, giving effortless support to the cassis, charcoal, tobacco and slate. Over it all, the most appealing, gently curling woodsmoke comes right on up through the palate. The whole effect is of a soft, caressing texture that manages to also be hugely intense. A wonderfully complex layering of flavours, absolutely no doubt that this is going to age beautifully. Harvest lasted for 12 days but was spread out over four weeks. Alcohol levels are the same as last year because they had no blockages of ripening. The blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc aged in 50% new oak.
Wine Enthusiast: 98
Firm tannins cannot mask the fact that this aromatic wine is gorgeous, rich and fruity. It has a powerful structure to sustain the black plum and berry flavors. It is an impressive and concentrated wine, ready for the long haul.
Vinous: 97
The 2016 Haut-Bailly is a huge, powerful wine that explodes in all directions. Black cherry, smoke, tobacco, licorice, menthol, incense and gravel are all pushed forward, but it is the wine's volume and pure intensity that stand out most. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is likely to be a slow-maturing wine, but even today the phenomenal finish is a marvel. The 2016 is a great Haut-Bailly in the making. It will reward several decades of cellaring.
James Suckling: 99
This young wine shows such pinpoint precision with a full body, dense fruit and gorgeous intensity. Muscular yet toned and beautiful. It really builds on the finish. Very fine-grained. So long and beautiful. Sophisticated power. Oyster shell and iodine undertones. Traditional style yet with a modern interpretation. Savory.