2016 chateau haut-bailly cru classe, pessac-leognan
Why We're Buying
Château Haut-Bailly offers wine investors and connoisseurs a series of paradoxes. It's intricate yet balanced, direct yet gentle, immediate yet timeless. The one-of-a-kind Bordeaux red blend is a must-have amongst serious collectors.
Château Haut-Bailly always seems to show a little more muscle and sheer fruity strength than the majority of its same-appellation mates, and, while it does once again in 2016, it shows a certain sense of reserve and leaves the indelible impression that it is far from revealing all that it has. It is solidly built stuff with the tannic grip of a claret that, in no uncertain terms, begs for age, and we would not be surprised if it has yet to fully open up even as it approaches its tenth birthday.
From an always-impressive estate, this vintage is superb, offering big tannins plus but also generous black fruits and powerful ripeness. Dense and with a good structure for aging, the wine will develop slowly and will not be ready before 2026.
Matching the brilliant 2015, the 2016 Château Haut Bailly checks in as a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. This sensational effort boasts a deep purple color as well as a massive bouquet of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, crushed flowers, and graphite, with just hints of smoky earth emerging with time in the glass. Deep, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, it’s nevertheless all about finesse and elegant, and this beauty just glides across the palate. Reminding me a little bit of the 2009 with its textural richness and length, it’s another awesome wine from Véronique Sanders that’s capable of keeping for 30+ years.
Still extremely knitted down, pretty closed at the four year point as you would expect in a vintage that has such walls, floors, ceiling and buttressing. The tannins are very much present but even now they are confident without being intrusive, and the future potential is singing. There are traces of gunsmoke, suggesting even after four years in bottle we are still very much in the reductive phase, so don't drink this for at least another five years. But wow is it going to be good. Blend completed by 3% Cabernet Franc. Drinking Window 2026 - 2045
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Haut-Bailly is medium to deep garnet-purple in color. The nose opens with beautiful floral notes of violets and lavender accented with earthy notions and sparks of crushed rocks over a core of kirsch, cassis and wild blueberries. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has layer upon layer of red, black and blue fruits intermingled with earth and mineral hints leading to a very long, perfumed finish.
This is energetic and grippy, with tar and melted licorice notes wrapped around a core of bramble, red currant paste and black cherry preserve flavors. The tarry edge reemerges on the finish, working with a singed apple wood element to give this solid drive through the finish. Best from 2023 through 2038.
Wonderful aromas of tobacco, sweet fruit and licorice follow through to a full body with ultra-fine tannins that caress every inch of your palate. Love the length and subtlety to this young wine. Gorgeous. Drink after 2024.