Haut Bailly 2017


This classic Graves property of 30 hectares is managed by Véronique Sanders. The vineyard is planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 34% Merlot.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Haut-Bailly was cropped at 28hl/ha (40hl/ha on non-frozen parcels and 2hl/ha on frosted parcels) and includes co-fermented Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is unlikely to contain any vin de presse this year, unlike in 2016, and it is matured in 50% new oak. There is a pH of 3.74 with 13.2° alcohol. It has an attractive and quite opulent bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, hints of crushed stone and briary, a light oyster shell influence. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin but there is good backbone here, quite “solid” for Haut-Bailly and it will need to just soften the edges during its élevage. With moderate length and a very attractive graphite aftertaste, this Haut-Bailly will require five or six years in bottle but will repay the patient wine-lover. Drink 2021 - 2040.

Score: 92/94Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018

The 2017 Haut-Bailly is composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Very deep garnet-purple colored, it has a wonderfully spicy nose of cinnamon stick, cloves, anise and fenugreek with core of roses, warm blueberries, black forest cake and black raspberries plus hints of underbrush and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied with firm, ripe, grainy tannins, it has oodles of freshness and great finesse, continuing bright and energetic on the long, minerally finish.

“In 2017, everything was early at Haut-Bailly”, commented General Manager, Véronique Saunders. On March 25 budding started and by April 12 full leaves were developing. Then on April 27 and 28 the frosts hit, lowering production here considerably. Afterwards, on May 19, flowering started very early, with an early veraison on July 28. There was a lot of rain during the last three days of June and it was a very quick, short harvest from September 13-29.

Score: 94/96Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

A firm and silky red with a medium to full body, a solid center palate and a long and integrated finish. Very fine, polished and refined. Creamy tannins. Hints of bitter orange.

Score: 94/95James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018

The 2017 Haut-Bailly is an understated beauty. Nothing in particular stands out rather it is the wine's balance that impresses most. All the classic Haut-Bailly signatures come through in a mid-weight, super-finessed wine that hits all the right notes. Dark red and blue stone fruits, graphite, smoke, licorice and incense are all laced into the super-expressive finish. The 2017 emerges from the estate's central, most historic parcels, as those vineyards were not affected by the April frost that took with it 30% of the production.

Score: 93/96Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2018

Very dark with purple rim. Oozes elegance on the nose, subtle dark fruit, nicely dusty/mineral and a touch of graphite and a slight and attractive herbaceous note. More fragrant with air. Texture is fine like layers of paper, tannins are dry and refined. Lightness of touch but really persistent. Juicy, gentle. Very lovely, the graphite elegance, freshness and fruit go on to the end.
Drink 2027-2040

Score: 17.5Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018

Frost has reduced the crop at Haut Bailly by 30% in 2017. Picked from 13-29 September, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdotm 4% Cabernet Franc. A medium deep colour with a slight reduction masking the fruit on the nose, which is spicy, peppery, and certainly black-fruited. The palate is very firm, with muscular and unyielding tannins creating a linear, surly mouthfeel at the moment. The fruit intensity is good and should allow time for the tannins to soften, with the oak spice well integrated, offering subtle notes of toasted spices and a little wood smoke. Buyers should be ready to let this wine mature slowly in the bottle, as it will need a decade or more before becoming approachable based on this showing.

Score: 15Farr Vintners, April 2018

Tasted at the Château Mercers’ visit March 2018
The nose has sweet fruit depth of flavour the palate an aromatic freshness at the start. Fresh bilberry in the middle is backed by sweet black plum and cassis supple rich and ripe the tannins are fine and savoury the back palate has depth ripe fruit the finish is lighter elegant and long. Drink 2026 - 2040.

Score: 92/95Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, May 2018

This reminds me of 2001 more than most wines I've tasted, and perhaps it's no surprise that a vintage that required a skilful touch and a belief in the power of elegance should do well at Haut-Bailly. It's hugely pure and restrained, with great aromatics and extremely well placed bilberry, cassis and mulberry fruits. The tannins are fine and poised, set against cigar box with touches of charcoal and slate. They build through the palate, but remain slightly austere on the finish, with a bounce to them that suggests they are going to age beautifully. They kept the vineyard team for three weeks in July, because the vines kept throwing out green shoots after the June rains. Harvested 13-29 September, the vines were around two weeks ahead all the way through the season. The yield was 28hl/ha overall, but only 2hl/ha on the frosted parts, compared to 40hl/ha for the unaffected areas, 50% of production going into the grand vin. Malo was finished by the end of November, but the vats are still separated and there will be final blend in May 2018 (which is what they always do). 4% of Cabernet Franc finishes the blend given below.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2042

Score: 95Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

This is one of the calmest and most centred wines of 2017. There is no tension here, just precision and balletic balance. The fruit is focussed, deep and proud and the amalgam of the blend is amazing. There are two ages of Petit Verdot vines in the wine and they both add a different aspect to the wine. This spice is integral to this wine’s appeal. There is a voluptuousness and also elegance about this wine and it is not bigger than the second wine La Prade, it is just much longer and finer. This is a succulent, Burgundian-shaped wine in its demeanour and yet the tannins and the acidity are going to keep it going for years and years.

Score: 18.5+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.