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2005 Haut Bailly

2005 Haut Bailly

98 JD

Featured Review
One of the top vintages of Haut-Bailly out there, the 2005 is a quintessential example of this terroir, showing incredible finesse and elegance paired with ample concentration and depth of fruit. Complex notes of black cherries, darker currants, gravelly earth, graphite, smoke tobacco, and cedar notes all emerge from the glass, and it’s full-bodied, flawlessly balanced, and pure class on the palate. I’ve always thought the 2009 was the greatest vintage from this estate that I’ve tasted, yet this is certainly knocking on the doorstep, although in a more classic, structured style. I find this insanely good today, but it’s still youthful and is set for another 30+ years of truly spectacular drinking! Hats off to Veronique Sanders and the team at Haut-Bailly for another magical wine. Jeb Dunnuck

Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD

Critic Reviews

One of the top vintages of Haut-Bailly out there, the 2005 is a quintessential example of this terroir, showing incredible finesse and elegance paired with ample concentration and depth of fruit. Complex notes of black cherries, darker currants, gravelly earth, graphite, smoke tobacco, and cedar notes all emerge from the glass, and it’s full-bodied, flawlessly balanced, and pure class on the palate. I’ve always thought the 2009 was the greatest vintage from this estate that I’ve tasted, yet this is certainly knocking on the doorstep, although in a more classic, structured style. I find this insanely good today, but it’s still youthful and is set for another 30+ years of truly spectacular drinking! Hats off to Veronique Sanders and the team at Haut-Bailly for another magical wine.

Jeb Dunnuck | 98+ JD
A near perfect growing season resulted in alcohols of 14% for the Merlots and 13% for the Cabernet Sauvignons, unheard of at Haut-Bailly. This is starting to show tertiary aromatics and yet holding on to its youthful character, absolutely teetering on the edge between youth and age. The tension of this moment is something to savour, and I want to both suggest that you drink it now, and that you put it away for another decade. Hints of leather, cold ash, cassis, pepper, saffron, all with confident tannins that embrace the fruit without making a big deal of it. The definition of elegant Pessac, as with 2001 vintage, but here with another level of concentration. Just so drinkable while complex and effortless. Long harvest from September 14 through to October 11. A yield of 41hl/ha. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040.

Decanter | 97 DEC
The 2005 Haut-Bailly, is dense purple with loads of graphite, earth, spice, blackberry and blueberry fruit, beautiful balance, medium to full body, and stunning purity, texture and length. Still incredibly young at age 10, this wine is set for 30 or more years of longevity. This is a great, great Haut-Bailly that will one day probably rival 2009 and 2010.

Robert Parker | 96+ RP
The 2005 Haut-Bailly is unbelievably finessed from start to finish. A wine of unreal class, the 2005 impresses with its silky, mid-weight personality and fantastic balance. The aromatics aren’t fully expressive today, but everything else about the 2005 is absolutely irresistible. Despite its considerable charm, Haut-Bailly comes across as still needing time in bottle to be at its best! In a vintage in which so many wines are extroverted, Haut-Bailly retains an air of elegance and understatement. The best is clearly yet to come.

Antonio Galloni | 96 AG
Dark purple in color. Offers pure fruit, with crushed raspberry, blackberry and dried flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins that touch every inch of the palate. Long and racy, with elegance and beauty harking back to bygone days. Best after 2015. 6,665 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 95 WS
This shows a great purity of fruit; firm and direct notes of raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries that open to intense notes of fresh flowers. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins. This wine is tight and long -- you know this is good immediately. Pull the cork after 2016.

James Suckling | 95 JS
(Château Haut-Bailly) Along with 2008 and 2001, 2005 is my favorite vintage in this decade on the Gironde. I find the wines in Bordeaux quite similar structurally to those of Burgundy in this vintage, with a rare combination of ripe, pure and rock solid fruit components, coupled to fairly high acids and firm tannins. The combination seems likely to make for very, very long-lived wines, but patience is still required for those with bottles in the cellar, as this vintage is most emphatically not yet ready for primetime drinking. The 2005 Haut-Bailly shows enormous potential on both the nose and palate, with the bouquet offering up a pure and precise blend of plums, red and black cherries, tobacco leaf, a marvelous base of gravelly soil tones, cigar smoke and a lovely framing of nutty and cedary new oak. On the palate the wine is pure and full-bodied and shows of stunning mid-palate depth, with great energy and grip, firm, buried tannins, tangy acids and laser-like focus on the very long, nascently complex and vibrant finish. To my palate, this is the finest vintage of Haut-Bailly since the stellar 1986 and the (quite underrated elsewhere) 1982, but it is still emphatically a young wine and needs at least another fifteen years in the cellar to really start drinking with generosity. Be patient, as once this wine blossoms, it is going to be dazzling and virtually timeless! (Drink between 2035-2125).

John Gilman | 94 JG
An impressively structured wine from an estate that is at the forefront of quality in Pessac-Léognan. It is balanced, a rich rounded wine, with considerable depths of black fruits, dark tannins and power.

Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE
No written review provided. | 91 W&S

Wine Details for 2005 Haut Bailly

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.


Subregion Pessac-Leognan

Overview

Producer Chateau Haut Bailly

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