The 2018 Haut-Bailly was picked from 17 September and 9 October. It has a very pure bouquet with perfumed black cherry and raspberry fruit laced with violet and iris petals. This is very impressive: very focused and demonstrating exquisite delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that mask the structure underneath. It is velvety in texture with a complex truffle and iodine tinged finish that according to Véronique Sanders has a softness that has manifested in recent months after en primeur. This is a very promising Haut-Bailly, one from the top drawer. Drink 2024-2055.
|Score: 94/96||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
The 2018 Haut-Bailly is blended of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Grapes were harvested September 17 to October 9, and the wine has 14.4% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it opens slowly with profound notions of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis, roasted nuts and black olives, unfurling to reveal notions of menthol, crushed rocks, molten licorice and chargrilled meat plus a hint of lilacs. Full-bodied, rich and densely laden with layer upon layer of vibrant black fruits and mineral nuances, it has a solid backbone of firm, velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with compelling restraint and exciting energy.
|Score: 96/98+||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
Incredible depth of fruit to this with a center palate that shows superb character and texture. I love the hazelnut and coffee-bean undertones to the beautiful fruit, which shows great finesse. Full-bodied yet compact and tight, giving a sense of agility and flight to the wine. Extremely tight and polished tannins.
|Score: 97/98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Haut-Bailly speaks with real authority and class. Deeply spiced notes lead into a core of red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, licorice, new leather, menthol and tobacco. Vivid and dramatic in bearing, the 2018 possesses striking resonance from start to finish. There is plenty of tannin as well, but it is pretty much buried by the sheer luxuriousness of the fruit, while the mid-palate and saline-infused finish show terrific freshness as well as purity. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
|Score: 94/97||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
Black core. Intense black fruit, less open than Haut-Bailly II, as you might expect, but just as intense in fruit. Deep, more chewy than velvety but the layers of tannin are very fine, there are just a lot of them. A more savoury quality on the palate than in the Haut-Bailly II. Packed with fruit but all coiled up on itself. Big but nothing sticks out. Clean, dry, dark-chocolate finish. Very ripe Cabernet cassis but with the freshness of the Merlot (they always pick the Cabernet late and the Merlot early). Juicy at the core. Big, harmonious and smooth. Embryonically elegant in its power and concentration. 14.4%
|Score: 17.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
A wine that's going to flirt with perfection, the 2018 Château Haut-Bailly is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, brought up in 60% new French oak. Hitting 14.5% alcohol, its deep purple color is followed by a fabulous bouquet of pure crème de cassis, crushed violets, white flowers, graphite, and damp earth. An incredibly powerful, opulent wine, it nevertheless has sensational purity as well as the freshness and elegance that's the hallmark of this terrific estate. It will drink well in just a few years yet keep for 20-25 years or more.
|Score: 97/100||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
This is a serious 2018, structured, layered and full of Haut-Bailly signature. The texture is striking, with the silkiness emphasised by a pH of 3.87 and a relatively high alcohol that is effortlessly integrated into the body of the wine. The complexity builds slowly through the palate but the persisting feeling is of menthol, a lifting off and peeling back of the intensity, revealing the fresher more nuanced notes underneath. There's a lot of the 2015 character here, in terms of its enjoyable structure and generous fruit, but it's more like 2016 in its serious finish, and there's no question that this will age well.
The IPT is 86, more than the 84 measured in the 2010, but you don't feel it in the same way here. 5% Cabernet Franc completes the blend, co-fermented with Petit Verdot because they like the balance that it gives. 21hl/ha yield.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
|Score: 98||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
(55 Cabernet Sauvignon, 35 Merlot, 5 Petit Verdot, 5 Cabernet Franc) | 50% new oak | 14.4% alc | 86 IPT – the highest ever at this Château This is a superb Haut-Bailly and the nose alone is worth a standing ovation. A big wine and somewhat of an anomaly for Haut-Bailly, the oak is perfectly balanced and the skin tannins are so well-judged – some of the finest in the region – that there is little astringency but massive quantities of energy and verve. The tempo of the flavour as it expands on the palate is staggering. The length is great, too, but this is not a big wine in spite of the IPT. It is simply sensational and it will live to fifty years.
|Score: 19+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|