Haut Batailley 2017


Historically a part of Batailley until the property was split in two in the 1940's. Until recently this Chateau was owned by the Aunt of Grand Puy Lacoste proprietor Xavier Borie who made the wine. The 40 hectare property has 22 hectares of vines (average age 35 years) and these are planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The vines border those of Lynch Bages, Les Forts de Latour and Pichon Lalande. The property was sold to the Cazes family of neighbouring Lynch Bages in March 2017 who have announced that “This acquisition will strengthen our presence in Pauillac with the aim of undertaking a project distinct from Lynch-Bages. In order to respect the estate’s identity and the integrity of its vineyard, the property will be managed independently and have its own dedicated team of technical experts.” 2017 is the first vintage under Cazes ownership.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Haut Batailley, which is matured in 60% new oak for 18 months, is clearly more sophisticated than the second wine, polished by the oak of course but underneath its intense blackberry and boysenberry fruit, quite floral with touches of violet and iris. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, well-integrated oak and very smooth polished finish that glides across the mouth. There is fine precision on the finish. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2020 - 2032.

Score: 90/92Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018

This is very structured and serious. Full-bodied, tannic and powerful. Boom. This is one of the best Haut-Batailleys in years. From the new owners, who also own Lynch-Bages.

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

The 2017 Haut-Batailley is a hugely promising wine. Sumptuous and expressive in the glass, with gorgeous layers of fruit that unfold effortlessly, the 2017 has quite a bit to offer. Silky tannins add an air of sensuality to a core of dark fruit, lavender, leather and spice notes. Tasted next to the bottled 2016, the 2017 speaks with an effortless refinement. The oak is especially well judged for a young wine. The Cazes family is putting a serious amount of investment behind their newest acquisition. Among other things, an ambitious replanting program is underway. Jean-Charles Cazes told me yields were generous in 2017, which is quite unusual for the year.

Score: 91/94Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (236), May 2018

Spicy, moreish Cabernet fruit, the tannins firm but already smooth. Dark and spicy on the nose, relatively closed at the moment but the sample is cool. Really fine texture, so elegant. Beautifully fresh and juicy, sustained too and dark-fruited on the finish. Fine balance and fruit intensity.
Drink 2027-2040

Score: 17Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018

The 2017 blend here is similar to Lynch Bages with 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Merlot being aged in 60% new oak. An impressive start under the new ownership! Deep ruby colour with plush and fleshy black fruits and exotic incense on the nose. The palate has good depth of black fruit with some muscular tannins, though they are refined and do reveal a glossy finish of morello cherries and cassis. The oak is present but not out of balance, offering an exotic, smoky, but harmonious finish.

Score: 16+Farr Vintners, April 2018

The fruit on the nose is bright and fresh spring violets the start of the palate has bilberry and black currant. Depth in the middle the fruit sweet and ripe rich at the back with a fresh streak on the finish. Drink 2025 - 2037.

Score: 89/92Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, May 2018

The first year under the Cazes family, and we can expect big changes over the next few years with an extensive replanting programme planned. But for now, let's look at 2017, where production has been split 33% second wine and 66% grand vin, with no frost to hamper them. It's rich and deep, with a sense of forward motion and flexible tannins pushing the cassis fruit from start to finish, joined by focussed and lively brambled fruits and gentle cedar smoking. The austerity is clear, and it's a little lighter-framed than the Lynch Bages, and very different in personality, but it has real promise and I like it enormously. Expect a new label with the Tour d'Aspic tower and the JM Cazes family name. 60% new oak.
Drinking Window 2025 - 2036

Score: 92Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

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