Chateau Haut-Bailly Pessac Leognan 2015
Wine AdvocateThe 2015 Haut Bailly is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot (Véronique Sanders told me that the latter was planted three years ago.) My sample included 80% new oak, but there will be 50% in the final blend. Deep in color, the bouquet is very intense with multilayered blackberry, blueberry, crème de cassis and subtle black olive aromas, introverted at first but soon racing out of the blocks with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, quite firm tannin. This is an Haut-Bailly with real backbone, real sense of purpose. It could have tipped over into being overpowering due to that intense Merlot, but the acidity keeps everything in check and the finish demonstrates wonderful tension. In particular, the aftertaste is incredibly long in the mouth. This Haut Bailly is up there with the 2009 and 2010 - a bravura Pessac-Léognan destined for long-term ageing. Do yourself (and the wine) a favor and cellar it for 12 years, drinking the 2012 or 2013 before reaching for this.
Wine Enthusiast95-97. Barrel Sample. This wine is finely balanced with its ripe, dusty tannins contrasted by bold blackberry fruits. This is an impressive wine that has great structure, showing the quality of the Cabernet in the vintage.
Wine SpectatorFresh and pure, with cassis and cherry preserve notes streaming through, guided gently by singed vanilla, tobacco and dried star anise details. Roasted apple wood accents drape the finish for now, but the fruit should soak that up easily with cellaring. Shows some sneaky depth here, only obscured by the freshness. Better to wait this one out. Best from 2020 through 2040. 6,665 cases made.