The saturated ruby/purple-hued 2011 Haut-Bailly exhibits a glorious, subtle, noble set of aromatics consisting of red and black currants, sweet cherries, graphite, truffles and a faint hint of wood spice. The wine hits the palate with the profound elegance and purity that have become so much a characteristic under Wilmers and Sanders. Still youthful, with good acidity and freshness, this brilliant, medium-bodied 2011 needs another 4-5 years of bottle age, and should evolve effortlessly for 20-25 years.
Ever since the acquisition of Haut-Bailly by American banker Robert Wilmers, he and his winemaker Veronique Sanders have dramatically led this estate to the top of the qualitative pyramid.
While the elegant, stylish 2011 Haut-Bailly does not possess the density and concentration of the three vintages that preceded it, this is still outstanding wine as well as a tribute to the impeccable work done by proprietor Robert Wilmers and his manager, Veronique Sanders. Classic red and black currant aromas interspersed with notions of wet stones/crushed rocks, tobacco leaf and spice box are followed by a medium-bodied, well-balanced, impressively pure wine built on finesse and understatement. This beauty is capable of drinking well young or over the next 15+ years.
The Chateau Haut-Bailly is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, which is close to 2000. Picking was from 9th September until the end of the month, around three weeks with 11-12 days of work. They thought they would end up picking in August as the season was so advanced! The bouquet is crisp and displays fine purity with blackberry, a touch of cassis, crushed stone and a touch of oyster shell. It has impressive delineation and focus. The palate is very well balanced and silky smooth in the mouth. It is tensile and animated, very composed and refined on the finish, perhaps more so than in the 2009 and 2010. It has lower alcohol than 2010 (13.0 degrees compared to 14.2). This is the style of Haut Bailly that I appreciate. Tasted April 2012.
Intense aromas of stones in the sun and dark fruits with hints of orange peel. Full to medium body, with ultra-fine and long tannins. A lovely line to this. Winery says its a baby 2000. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
This year Haut Bailly was made from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc. Veronique Sanders says that the blend is the same as that of the 2000 vintage. Only 50% of the crop has made the first wine. Very fine and focused. There is big volume here with a velvety mouthfeel. Structured, classy, yet good depth.
Cassis fills out the nose lovely and sweet lots of power. The mix of cassis and black cherry on the palate are backed by liquorice and dark chocolate rich and serious. The richness of the fruit is underpinned by tannins which although firm feel ripe with the layers of flavour giving complexity.
The age of the vines was the key to coping with the drought in 2011, according to technical director, Gabriel Vialard. Whatever the reason, he has made a very good wine, with rich, concentrated tannins and plenty of sweet coffee bean oak underpinned by serious, flavoursome black fruits, a touch of mint and refreshing acidity. 10+ years.
Concentrated, slightly spicy and earthy black fruits, fine ripeness and great vineyard expression, tannins are still a bit raw but the rich middle fruit will dominate. Drink 2017-2035.